Judge tosses murder convictions for 2 men in rare ruling

Posted by on May 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | No Comments
Judge tosses murder convictions for 2 men in rare ruling

Keith Cannon convicted of second-degree murder in 2013

APOPKA, Fla. —The murder convictions for two men who were found guilty in an Apopka killing were thrown out by a judge Friday.

Keith Cannon and Gregory Anderson were convicted of second-degree murder in the death of 34-year-old Terrious Miles. Miles was found fatally shot in a shed on West 13th Street in April 2013. He had left an illegal card game at an Apopka house when he was robbed and killed.

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Cannon was supposed to be sentenced Friday, but he smiled and nodded his head in approval after Circuit Judge Renee Roche made a rare decision called a “judgment notwithstanding verdict.”

Roche believed the jury was wrong in convicting the two in January

Gregory Anderson pumped his fists, smiling and waving to his family in court.

The family of Miles was furious.

“I have never heard in a million years that a judge can overturn what a jury says. What is the point of having a jury if she is going to overturn what they say?” asked his mother, Barbara Miles.

Anderson’s family was elated.

“I just hope they find the real killer. Gregory Anderson is not him, and I just hope they find the real killer,” said Anderson’s sister-in-law Shaw Math.

“I always knew this day would come because like I always said, he didn’t do nothing,” said Anderson’s uncle, Ray Anderson.

The state argued that DNA evidence put Anderson at the scene, and phones believed to belong to Cannon and Anderson were communicating the night of the killing.

“In this case, we have a different set of facts and a different set of evidence supporting the convictions of Cannon and Anderson,” said prosecutor Mark Interlicchio.

But attorneys for Anderson and Cannon argued there was no defendant DNA on the victim, the murder weapon was never found and simply being at the murder scene is not proof of a plan or a murder.

“The state has to establish that the DNA was placed there at the time that the shooting took place,” said Anderson’s attorney Chris Smith.

The judge agreed with the defense and reversed the jury’s verdict.

“It does not matter what this court thinks about the law. It has no other option other than to apply the law, and the court is otherwise persuaded that this decision must be made,” said Roche.

“She wasn’t paying attention to us,” said Barbara Miles. “We’re just another number, just another case. Black on black killing crime, and it angers me very much because I am a taxpayer.”

Anderson will remain behind bars, charged with an unrelated home invasion that is scheduled for pretrial this month.

Cannon, who has been behind bars for 18 months, will likely be released from the Orange County Jail on Friday.

The state is appealing the judge’s ruling to the Fifth District Court of Appeal which. If that court sides with the state, the verdict will be reinstated and Anderson and Cannon will be rearrested and sentenced.