Murder trial ends in hung jury
The inability of a Supreme Court jury to reach a verdict in the case of a man who surrendered to police and confessed to murder, prompted the judge to say the outcome supported calls for the abolition of jury trials.
Anthony Bethel, otherwise known by the street name “Peanut”, was not a suspect in the May 26, 2015 murder of 21-year-old Georgette Rahming until he showed up at the Central Detective Unit on August 4 and allegedly solved the case for investigators, trial testimony revealed.
Bethel reportedly told police that Shaddy, the person who allegedly ordered him to kill Rahming, was now trying to kill him.
At his trial, Bethel claimed that he was merely repeating a story concocted by police officers in his videotaped admissions.
Justice Bernard Turner declared a mistrial after the jury failed to return the unanimous verdict required for a conviction.
Bethel, who remains on remand at the prison, next returns to court on May 24 for a fixture hearing for his new trial.
Rahming was sitting on the porch of her home on Palmetto Avenue when a gunman opened fire on her before running away, the court heard.
Several days before her death, Rahming had told her mother and brother that a person called “Shaddy” had pulled a gun on her, the court heard.
According to investigating officer Raphael Miller, Rahming reportedly told her relatives that if anything happened to her, Shaddy or Machiavelli were responsible.
At trial, the relatives claimed that they had also named Peanut as one of the possible suspects.
However, Miller denied this.
In his statements to police, Bethel said Shaddy had told him to kill Rahming and that he feared Shaddy would have had him killed if he didn’t.
Bethel said that Shaddy and Rahming had an argument and she threatened to set him up to be killed. Bethel said that Shaddy had his girlfriend call Georgette to find out her location and she told her that she was on the porch.
Bethel said that he saw Rahming on the porch and that she started to run as he opened fire.
Bethel said after the murder, he returned the gun to Shaddy.
Lavita Thurston, the mother of the deceased, testified that Bethel apologized to her when she confronted him when he first appeared before a magistrate on the murder charge on August 7, 2017.
Thurston claimed Bethel said, “Ma’am, I’m sorry. Shaddy made me do it.”
Darnell Dorsette and Camille Gomez prosecuted. Keevon Maynard appeared for Bethel.