Macon man cleared in rape trial

A Bibb County jury has found a Macon man not guilty on charges he hid in a car trunk, attacked a woman while she drove and raped her on a dirt road near her Lizella home on Dec. 19, 2008.

Jurors deliberated for about an hour before returning the not guilty verdict early Thursday night, defense attorney Sara Roberts said.

Roberts’ client, 33-year-old Eric Demond Ussery, testified Thursday morning that he’s never hidden in the trunk of his children’s mother’s car.

“I’ve never been in the trunk of (her) car,” he said. The woman testified Tuesday that Ussery has hidden in her trunk on multiple prior occasions.

Ussery testified that he and the woman had planned to meet on the morning of Dec. 19 to purchase items for their younger son to take to school for a Christmas party.

The woman picked him up in her car and drove to a dirt road near her home, and the couple engaged in consensual sex, he said.

Ussery said the woman told him someone else had undergone a medical procedure in the days before the incident, but while having sex he realized it was in fact her who’d had the procedure.

After they started to argue, Ussery started to drive the car back toward the woman’s house. He struck a manhole, and the impact caused the woman’s head to strike the windshield, he testified.

“Never did I have sex with (the woman) against her will,” he said. “I never hit (her).”

Ussery said there were several times when he was out of the car during the incident when the woman could have left. Her cell phone was with her the entire time.

Jurors were shown an alleged 2008 photo of Ussery and the woman having sex and listened to a cell phone video the woman is alleged to have made during a sex act in 2008 in which the woman tells Ussery to stop seeing other women.

Prosecutor Pamela White-Colbert recounted the woman’s version of the incident during closing arguments.

The woman said in court Tuesday that she had just dropped off her son at a school bus stop when Ussery, the father of her two children, emerged from the inside of her car trunk.

She said she didn’t consent to have sex with Ussery and was not in a relationship with him at the time of the incident. In her closing arguments, Roberts said the woman’s story didn’t make sense. Using a model, she demonstrated how hard it would have been for a man to crawl through a 13-inch by 13-inch hole from a trunk into a car. She also recounted the testimony of several witnesses who said they saw Ussery and the woman together in 2008 and described them as a couple.

“Her story is one of the most bogus I’ve ever heard,” Roberts said. “Common sense solves this case quite easily. None of her story makes sense.”

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.