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Memphis, TN—In a landmark decision, a jury found former security guard Gregory Livingston guilty of first-degree murder for the fatal shooting of an unarmed blind man, Alvin Motley Jr., at an East Memphis Kroger gas station in 2021.

After a tense week-long trial, the verdict concluded with Livingston receiving a life sentence, cementing a tragic saga that has gripped the community.

Security Guard Talking on Walkie-talkie

Source: Bill Varie / Getty

Background Recap: This Is Crazy…

As BOSSIP previously reported, in August 2021, a dispute over loud music at a gas station escalated fatally when Livingston, an unlicensed security guard, confronted Motley. 

The altercation ended with Motley shot dead, an event captured chillingly on security camera footage. Livingston, who claimed he acted in self-defense, failed to convince the jury. He faced strong evidence and emotional testimonies that painted a different picture.

Motley was almost completely blind, armed with nothing but a cigarette and beer can, and only guilty of blasting music. Only a cold-blooded killer would think that harmless moment justified an immediate death sentence.

Key Moments from the Trial

Per WREG, the following is a breakdown of the trial:

Prosecution’s Case: Prosecutor Ronald Dowdy argued forcefully, stating, “Gregory Livingston committed a cold and calculated murder. He made a decision. With intentional and premeditated action, he took the life of Alvin Motley.”

Defense Argument: Livingston’s defense centered around self-defense claims, suggesting uncertainty about Motley’s intentions as he approached Livingston.

Emotional Testimonies: The trial featured heart-wrenching moments, including video footage of Motley’s girlfriend, Pia Foster. She witnessed the shooting and made the 911 call from that day, which jurors requested to hear again.

Family and Community Gaining Closure

During the trial, Alvin Motley Sr. shared emotional words about what Livingston deserves. According to Commercial Appeal, he expressed a poignant mix of forgiveness and a desire for justice:

“My God tells me I am to forgive, and I forgive him. But for every day for the rest of my life, every morning I wake up, I want him to be in prison and wake up the same morning, and we both think about what he did.”

The case, reminiscent of the 2012 shooting of Jordan Davis in Florida, highlights ongoing issues around racial tensions and the responsibilities of security personnel.

Livingston’s lack of licensure and the fatal decision to shoot over a minor dispute call for a broader reflection on security practices and racial prejudices in America.

Final Words: Rest In Peace

As Livingston begins his life sentence, the community and Motley’s family hope this verdict serves as a deterrent against reckless use of force and a step forward in the fight for justice in similar cases.

Prosecutor Dowdy’s closing remarks resonate with a community still in search of healing. “That was an execution and then he let Alvin lay there dead, lifeless, bleeding out, his body twitching,” Dowdy said.

This was an ending hoped for, that many Black families aren’t blessed with. Proud of the jury for bringing #JusticeForJordanDavis. 

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