A White man was acquitted in a Los Angeles killing that is suspected of being gang-related despite driving the getaway car that the two Black murder suspects were in, CBS2 Los Angeles reports.
Cameron Terrell, 18, was found not guilty of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder by jurors on July 24 in the death of Justin Holmes, 21, who was shot in the back in South Los Angeles in October.
Terrell said he had no idea that his friends were armed or planned to shoot Holmes and was under the belief that they were going spray-painting, according to The Daily Mail.
His defense attorney, Jovan Blackwell, told reporters that his client should not have been charged with anything, especially “not murder.”
“Cameron Terrell did not possess any weapons, he did not shoot anybody, he was not part of any conspiracy, or any plan or plot. … At best the evidence suggests that Cameron was a witness,” Blackwell said.
His attorney added that Terrell’s “background, his family, where he resides, his school” made for a good story and that he should have been treated as a witness.
Activists believe that Terrell’s case involved race and class. He reportedly lives in Palos Verdes Estates, a wealthy community in LA, and had a $5 million bond that was posted with $500,000 cash.
LA County Deputy District Attorney Adan Montalban said Terrell was in a gang and knew what the other juveniles were going to do because he parked farther away to let the two teens out of the car, according to CBS2.
Terrell’s defense claims that neither he nor the two teens were affiliated with any gang.
Prosecutors showed jurors video shot by Terrell of his friends kicking over candles at a makeshift memorial for Holmes, according to ABC 7.
Jurors were presented with Terrell, who was referred to as “White boy” and “Milk” in several rap videos, rapping, “you know what it is right, the homie got shot, I just need to kill somebody,” following Holmes’ death.
“Two Black juveniles are probably facing life sentences to where an adult took them to do something where he should’ve been held responsible just as much,” activist Melvin Farmer told CBS2.
The two unidentified 16-year-olds are facing murder charges and will be transferred to an adult court.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.