Aleston and Archie Not Guilty of Murder
Two men accused of fatally shooting a man in the head back in 2006 faced a jury of their peers on Friday, and walked away free men.
Willie Tyrone "T-Baby" Aleston and Markeith Archie were both charged with second degree murder in the September 2006 murder of Chandre Garrison, but a jury found them not guilty of those charges.
During the trial, prosecutors called crime scene investigators to the stand, and showed the jury a 9-millimeter bullet and several shell casings.
Defense attorneys felt the state did not prove their case, so they in turn, did not call any witnesses to the stand.
In the end, the jury felt there was not enough evidence against the two men to convict them.
"I actually felt very confident throughout this trial that the evidence just didn't rise to the point of taking away that protection my client had going into it," said Aleston's Attorney Stephen Bernstein.
"There were some weaknesses in the case forensically. Some reluctant witnesses, as far as people willing to testify. They feared retribution, so we were concerned about that," said State Attorney's Office spokesperson Spencer Mann.
After the murder, Aleston was on the run, and police had a nationwide manhunt for him, before he turned himself in two weeks later.
Although he has a long rap sheet that includes drug and violent crime charges, one charge that will no longer be on his record is second degree murder.
After the verdict, both Aleston and Archie were taken back to the Alachua County Jail, where they were booked out and then were free to leave.
Many of Garrison's family members were in court, but immediately left after the verdict was read without making a comment.
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