Two suspects in 2004 shooting acquitted
BOSTON -- For the third time this month, the suspects in a Suffolk County murder case have been acquitted.
Curtis Jiles, 34, and Jemald Allen, 28, were found not guilty by a jury on Wednesday in the August 2004 death of William Saladin, 20, following a six-day trial and about five hours of deliberations.
Saladin was shot in the back of the head with a 9mm handgun in the Franklin Hill Housing Development in Boston on Aug. 31, and died two days later.
Prosecutors said the motive was "an ongoing dispute between two groups of young men."
The defendants were acquitted despite the testimony of a witness who claimed to have overheard Jiles brag about the slaying.
"The evidence hinged largely on the testimony of a single eyewitness, and that testimony was corroborated by additional facts and evidence, which we felt made for a very compelling case," said Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley.
The witnesses lacked credibility and the police investigation was incomplete, defense lawyers said.
"The bottom line is that the prosecution failed to investigate," said Michael Bourbeau, Allen's lawyer. "These guys were 100 percent innocent. It's difficult when these accusations were made when plenty of other witnesses came forward" and were not interviewed.
Earlier this week, Marquis Browder, 17, was acquitted of charges he murdered Giresse Diansweki, 18, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2005.
On April 2, three men were acquitted in connection with the shooting death of Terrence Felton, 19, in 2005.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)