A Fayette County jury acquitted a Lexington man of murder and first-degree assault in a 2015 shooting that killed one man and injured his brother.
Jermaine Marquise Anderson, 24, was convicted on lesser charges of evidence tampering, cocaine possession and fleeing or evading police.
The jury recommended a 2 1/2 -year sentence. However, Anderson was scheduled to be released Thursday for time served because he has been in jail for exactly that long.
Anderson “has been adamant from the beginning that he was innocent, and we’re just grateful that the jury understood his perspective,” public defender Daniel Whitley said. “We’re just happy with a just outcome. He’s a good kid.”
Montez Lamont Graves, 31, was killed in the June 2015 shooting, and Frederick Thomas Spillman was wounded. The shooting happened on Whitney Avenue at Michigan Street.
Prosecutors said shell casings found in the street and a bullet recovered from the mirror of a Kia Sorento were fired from a handgun that Anderson discarded.
Whitley and fellow public defender Chris Tracy said Anderson was justified in his use of force to defend himself.
“Our belief and our client’s belief was that they (Graves and Spillman) were armed when they approached him, and he was put in a situation where he had to do nothing but defend himself,” Whitley said Thursday.
There was also testimony that evidence might have been removed from the shooting scene before police arrived, Whitley said.
The seven women and five men on the jury returned the verdict Wednesday night after more than three hours of deliberation.