GREENWOOD, S.C. (WSPA)- Six young men, each facing up to 45 years in prison, were found not guilty in a shooting at the Greenwood Mall in July of 2018.
No one was hurt by those shots fired. The six men faced three charges each, including attempted murder. In a rare move, a judge issued what’s called a “directed verdict,” deciding not to send the case to a jury and throwing out all 18 charges.
Shyheim Alston, Shyheim Freeman, Shyheim Reed, Narkevious Reid, Isaiah Whatley and Antonio Williams Jr. were accused of trying to murder a man named Isaish Brown. Warrants said the victim fled the scene. Police said he did not cooperate. Thursday, a judge threw out all 18 charges against the six arrested.
“It feels amazing man,” Narkevious Reid said. “I been in there a whole year.”
Eighth Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo said in a statement, “there was more than sufficient evidence to send this case to the jury to decide the guilt or innocence of all six of the defendants. Despite this decision from the court on the mall shooting incident, we remain committed to fight relentlessly alongside law enforcement to keep this community safe.”
Defense attorneys on the case told 7News the prosecution didn’t have solid evidence. Stephen Geoly, who represented Isaiah Whatley, told 7News no video showed any of the suspects with a gun, and no witnesses said the defendants had or fired guns at any time. He also said a police officer admitted on the stand that four individuals not charged could have fired the gun.
“You’re trying to convict somebody of something serious, so you know you got to have everything together if you…do that,” Reid said. “That would be wrong for you to not have anything to prove what you’re trying to convict us on.”
Whatley said he still dosen’t know what happened that night at the mall.
“I wasn’t even around the scene where it happened, so I don’t know nothing,” Whatley said.
He said he thinks the judge was right not to ask a jury to make a decision on the case. He explained what defense attorney on the case Charles Grose said:
“If a detective is been doing something for nine years can’t even find out what really went on, how do you expect twelve people regular just like all of us to make a decision on a person’s life?” Whatley said.
In a statement to 7News, a spokesperson with Greenwood Police expressed disappointment in the judge’s decision.