The earlier conviction was set aside after a juror was accused of making racist remarks
ROCHESTER — The second suspect in the Boys and Girls Club mass shooting last year has been found not guilty during his retrial on Wednesday.
Jalen Everett was found not guilty on all counts, including murder. Back in November, Everett was found guilty of three counts of second-degree murder. A judge, however, set aside that verdict after one juror was accused of making racist remarks.
Three people — Raekwon Manigault, Jonah Barley and Johnny Johnson Jr. — were killed outside of the Boys and Girls Club on Genesee Street in August 2015. At least three others were injured.
Last year, one of the three men charged, Johnny Blackshell Jr., was convicted of murder in the case. A third suspect, Michael Mathis, is scheduled to face trial later this year.
Everett was released Wednesday afternoon. He walked out of the Monroe County Jail, surrounded by about a dozen friends and family members.
"Finally, after having a retrial, it was done fairly and without prejudice and it was done right this time," said Leslie Gordon, Everett's mother.
"There was absolutely no evidence in this case, that's why it was called a circumstantial case," Gordon added after the verdict. "In the very beginning, they knew there was no evidence. This was a 'he says, she says' case. It's is not fair. No one should ever be tried on a circumstantial, 'he says, she says' case."
"We respect the jury's decision," said Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Perry Duckles. "We put forward every piece of evidence and every witness we were allowed to in the courtroom."
Prosecutors say they fought hard and presented evidence that they say showed Everett was guilty.
"I'm not privy to the deliberations, so I don't know exactly what they focused in on, but the jury seemed attentive throughout the trial and we have to live with our decision," adds Duckles. "We fought as hard as we could."
This verdict took a lot of people off-guard. The first time around, Everett was convicted, but now he's been acquitted.
Richard Barley: "No feeling. I'm numb," said Richard Barley, father of Jonah Barley, about the verdict.
Richard Barley was in court every day of the trial. He prayed justice would be served for his son. "I'm upset more at the way the trial was run. The way that all the evidence got squashed," he said.
"I think the issue last time was we had someone who came into the trial with a bias and this time we did a great job and the court did a great job of screening potential jurors, to get a pool of people who came in here with an open mind and didn't have any preconceived notions and didn't have any prejudices," says Emily Fusco of the defense team.