Second man cleared in bicycle murder
The appellate court unanimously allowed the appeal of DeAngelo Johnson, who was sentenced to 42 years in prison for murder in 2016.
According to the prosecution, James Cordero Farrington was riding a bicycle along Milton Street on March 8, 2014 between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. when Johnson, who was waiting near a shortcut, opened fire on Farrington before running home through a shortcut.
A witness said he was in the area of the shooting around 8 p.m. when he heard about 10 gunshots before he saw two men running through the Bargain City shortcut.
The witness was able to see the men for about 15 to 20 seconds at a distance of about 45 feet. He said that there was “not really” any obstruction in viewing the men. There was light from Bargain City and Our Lady’s Catholic Church.
The witness said he recognized two of the four men as he had known them all his life.
Johnson denied the charge. Johnson said he was friends with the deceased and said he was at his cousin’s birthday party when the shots rang out. The cousin testified as an alibi witness.
Johnson’s lawyer, Roberto Reckley, argued that the judge should have withdrawn the case from the jury at the close of the prosecution’s case.
Reckley contended that the prosecution’s case, taken at its highest, was that Johnson was seen running with a gun in his hand after shots were heard and that there was no identification linking him to the murder of the deceased.
By contrast, Raquel Whymms argued that the judge was correct to let the case continue.
However, justices of appeal Jon Isaacs, Roy Jones and Stella Crane-Scott disagreed.
They said, “We are of the view that the quality of the identification evidence was inadequate and the case should have been withdrawn from the jury at the close of the prosecution’s case.”
Last month, the panel allowed the appeal of Johnson’s co-accused Mario Whymms.
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