Cape Cod Times
May 12, 2022
Mary Ann Bragg
BARNSTABLE — William Hayes Jr. was found not guilty Thursday in Barnstable Superior Court on all charges related to the 2019 death of Darrell Russ, but was convicted on one charge related to possession of a firearm without an FID card.
The jury came back with the verdict after 2½ days of deliberation.
Hayes, 42, of Falmouth, was indicted in February 2020 on five charges, including first-degree murder, assault and battery with a firearm, and other firearm-related charges in connection with the shooting death of Russ.
Hayes pleaded not guilty to all charges. During the trial, Hayes’ lawyer, Drew Segadelli, said his client was acting in self-defense when Russ was shot.
Hayes trial testimony: Quote for work on vehicle ignited fight, led to Darrell Russ’ death.
On Oct. 16, 2019, Russ, 33, was shot at 362 Yarmouth Road in Hyannis, at Hayes’ former place of business, AQ Auto. Russ was transported to Cape Cod Hospital where he died due to his injuries.
Hayes allegedly then fled to a relative’s house in Yazoo City, Mississippi, where federal marshals arrested him on Nov. 1, 2019, and brought him back to the state.
What did the witnesses say: Jury hears from eyewitnesses of deadly October 2019 shooting
Russ and Aquil Pryor, 46, of Hyannis, went to AQ Auto on Oct. 16, 2019, at around noon so Russ could get a quote on mechanical work for his car, a 2007 Chrysler 300, according to testimony during the trial. During interactions related to the quote, Russ became agitated and eventually struck a service advisor. Russ left and then returned to the business, and then was seen outside and on the ground bleeding, where two people stopped to help him.
Hayes is not guilty, his attorney confirms
“I am very pleased the jury took the time to vigorously review all evidence and embrace my self-defense argument and acquit my client, because he is innocent,” Segadelli said. “He is not guilty of doing this.”
While happy that his client was acquitted of murder, Segadelli said he doesn’t understand the jury’s guilty verdict of possession of a firearm without an FID card.
“To me, that’s wholly inconsistent with the other four verdicts,” he said. “It’s upsetting to me after a fantastic victory. I left with a sour taste in my mouth.”
More: Attorney says victim was the aggressor in fatal Hyannis shooting
Sentencing is scheduled for Monday May 16 at Barnstable Superior Court, and Segadelli hopes the judge embraces his self-defense argument.
“Being sentenced for possession without an FID is a slap on the hand, it’s a bogus charge,” Segadelli said. “He (Hayes) should have been out of there yesterday afternoon.”
The Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office did not respond to requests for comments.