Keith Cannon and Gregory Anderson were convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Terrious Miles in Apopka, Florida. On March 16, Cannon and Anderson were cleared of those charges because a judge threw out their conviction.
In April 2013, Miles’ body was found in a shed following an illegal card game.
Cannon was supposed to be sentenced, but Circuit Judge Renee Roche made a rare decision of "judgment notwithstanding verdict," meaning Roche believed the jury’s conviction of the two men was wrong.
Miles’ family was upset at Roche’s decision. "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?" the victim’s mother, Barbra Miles, told WESH. She added later: "She wasn't paying attention to us. We're just another number, just another case. Black on black killing crime, and it angers me very much because I am a taxpayer."
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Anderson’s family had different feelings on the matter. "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.
The state argued DNA evidence proved Anderson was at the crime scene and phone records proved he and Cannon communicated during the night of the murder.
Defense attorneys countered that DNA evidence was not found on Miles, the murder weapon was not located and the state’s other evidence was circumstantial.
"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.
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Roche 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," Roche said.
Cannon was incarcerated for 18 months and he did not comment on his release. Anderson is still behind bars for an unrelated home invasion charge.
The state is appealing Roche’s ruling to the Fifth District Court of Appeal. Anderson and Cannon could be rearrested and sentenced if the court rules in favor of the state.
Image via WESH