Gail Hough came out of a Gainesville CVS Pharmacy more than two years ago to find her world turned upside down.
She recounted the night of Feb. 7, 2019, of leaving the store after just a few minutes to find her husband, Jack Hough, bleeding from gunshots. Her testimony came on the first day of trial for DeMarvin Bennett, an East Point man facing charges of felony murder.
Bennett was indicted in February 2019 by a Hall County grand jury on charges including malice murder, four counts of felony murder, criminal attempt to commit robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a person 65 years of age or older in the Feb. 7, 2019, shooting of Hough at the CVS on Park Hill Drive.
Gail Hough described her first meeting with Jack in 2013 and their marriage the next year.
"We lived more in the five years that we had than a lot of people do in 20 years of marriage," she said.
After dinner on Feb. 7, 2019, Gail Hough mentioned to her husband Jack that she forgot to get her prescription at CVS Pharmacy. Since they were already out, Jack suggested they pick it up.
With Jack waiting in the car, Gail Hough went in for several minutes to pick up the prescription. When she left, a woman asked Gail Hough if she knew the man in the car and told her he had been shot.
Gail Hough testified she tried to lift his head up to see his face, his dark shirt appearing black from the blood.
“I never saw him again,” Gail Hough said. “My image of him is the image that I have from the car that night.”
Authorities said they believe Bennett approached Jack Hough while Hough was in his car. The indictment alleged Bennett was wearing dark clothing and a mask and grabbed the partially open driver’s side window.
Assistant District Attorney Kelley Robertson said there would be “somewhat of a contradiction in the evidence about the gun that was used to kill Jack Hough.”
Robertson said some of the evidence points to the gun being one owned by Jack Hough for self defense, which would have been used against him while trying to protect himself.
Other evidence, Robertson said, leads them to believe it is a gun brought by Bennett.
“Either way, the evidence will show that DeMarvin Bennett was in control of that gun and that he made the decision to fire it not once, but twice into Jack’s chest and to kill Jack Hough,” Robertson said.
Defense attorney Matt Leipold kicked off his opening statement with repetition: “No plan, no robbery, no gun.”
Leipold painted a picture of his client “barely scraping by” and living in a storage unit, seeing Hall County as a place to find work.
Leipold claimed Bennett was asking for money — “we say ask, they say demand” — and that Hough reached for a gun.
“This whole thing is over in a matter of seconds,” Leipold said.
Officers found a palm print and corresponding fingerprints on the inside of the glass where someone grabbed the window.
The prints were lifted and rushed to a fingerprint expert, who provided a list of candidates, Robertson said.
“The top person on that list and the only one in Georgia was DeMarvin Bennett,” she said.
Robertson said Bennett’s fingerprints were compared and were found to be a match.
Felony murder involves causing someone’s death during the commission of another felony, and the four underlying felonies charged in the indictment on the felony murder counts are attempted robbery, robbery, possession of a firearm by a First Offender probationer and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The trial will start back at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 28.