The man named by a dying man as his killer was cleared of the murder charge on Friday after his lawyer successfully convinced jurors that there was reasonable doubt.
Prosecutors alleged that Jerome “Poo” Johnson shot Gordon “Hog” Newbold at Acklins Street on April 11, 2018.
Newbold allegedly told two police officers Poo had shot him before the ambulance arrived; he told his sister the same thing before he went into surgery at Princess Margaret Hospital.
Newbold, 47, died during surgery and Johnson was arrested the same day.
However, from the outset he claimed that he was with his girlfriend when the crime occurred.
The girlfriend testified that they were together and produced a cell phone photo taken at 10:20 a.m. on the date in question that put Johnson on Oxford Avenue and not Acklins Street.
Two members of the crowd that had gathered on Acklins Street after the shooting testified that Johnson asked them what had happened when he pulled up to his home.
Johnson’s lawyer, Wayne Munroe, QC, also pointed out that police had charged Newbold’s fiancée with conspiracy to commit murder over claims that she had recruited men to kill another man because Johnson was behind Newbold’s death.
Corporal Raphael Miller, the officer who charged Johnson with Newbold’s murder, also charged the girlfriend with the murder conspiracy, the jury heard.
In his interview, Johnson asked Miller to test his hands and clothing for gunshot residue. Miller testified that the test was never done.