It was not enough, however, as 12 jurors found Diggs guilty Wednesday of second degree murder. He will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Judge Durwood Conque, who oversaw the trial, handed down the mandatory sentence,
Diggs shot and killed D’Jacquaney Mitchell in broad daylight in Abbeville on December 10, 2009, pumping rounds into him as he lay wounded on the ground
On December 15, 2009, the Abbeville Police Department requested the assistance of the U.S. Marshals.
Diggs was arrested in Virginia by the U.S. Marshal’s office.
In 2010, then Abbeville Police Chief Rick Coleman said the two men were allegedly involved in a verbal argument when Diggs pulled a gun and fired once, knocking Mitchell to the ground. Coleman said Diggs then stood over Mitchell’s body and fired three more shots.
Ted Ayo, the state’s attorney, called up three witnesses who said Jamaal was the shooter. One of those witnesses was a 12-year-old boy who was playing basketball near the shooting.
The 12-year-old said Mitchell was his cousin and pointed to Diggs as the person he saw get out of a purple car, which Diggs owns, and stand over Mitchell.
The most damaging to Diggs was the eyewitnessing of Morris Wright Jr., who is a barber on Dutel Street, the same street Mitchell was shot and killed on.
Wright told the jurors Mitchell was expected to get a hair cut but received a phone call and stepped outside. Morris eventually saw him again walk in front his store and go meet a purple car down the street by the railroad tracks.
Morris said he saw, from inside his shop, Mitchell talking to the driver of the purple car. The driver was still in the vehicle. Then he heard a gun shot and saw Mithchel fly backwards towards the front of the purple car.
Morris testified he saw Diggs get out of the car, stand over Mitchell and shoot him three more times, one in the face and two in the neck. Morris said he told his wife to call 911. He also said he and Diggs looked at each other face to face and then Jamaal looked at his 9 millimeter pistol, threw it in the back seat of his purple car and drove off.
Diggs’ attorney, Ed Marquet from Lafayette, tried to punch holes in Morris’ statements by asking him if he was 100 percent sure it was Jamaal Diggs and not someone else, like his brother.
Marquet said Morris described the shooter as “thinly built and a short black male.” Jamaal is 6-foot tall, and not thin.
On the other hand, Marquet pointed out that one of Jamaal’s brothers is 5-foot-6 inches tall.
No gun was ever found.