June 16 (UPI) — An Ohio judge on Tuesday acquitted Tevin Biles-Thomas of all charges against him in a retrial over a fatal 2018 shooting.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Joan Synenberg granted a Rule 29 motion for judgment of acquittal by the defense for lack of evidence, dismissing the murder charges against BIles-Thomas and acquitting him of voluntary manslaughter and felonious assault charges.
The charges stem from a shooting in Cleveland on New Year’s Eve which left three people dead and two injured.
No physical evidence tied Biles-Thomas to the shooting and one witness who testified in the previous trial could not identify him as the shooter while another said he didn’t see Biles-Thomas shoot.
Last month, Synenberg declared a mistrial in the case as jurors told her that copies of legal briefs from prosecutors and Biles-Thomas’ attorneys wound up in the trial evidence given to them.
After the decision in the new trial was announced Tuesday, the mother of one of the victims rushed toward Biles-Thomas and shouted “I’m going to kill you!”
The woman was stopped by sheriff’s deputies and after the proceedings, Joseph Patituce, one of Biles-Thomas’ defense attorneys, described the shooting as a “horrible event” and said they “don’t fault the victim’s family for acting out.”
“This was a horrible tragedy, three families lost three family members and you know, absolutely horrific. So, we understand emotions were running high,” Patituce said. “But today, Tevin Biles was vindicated, what he’s waited to get for the last two and a half years.”
The case gained national attention, as Biles-Thomas is the brother of Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles.
In 2019, following Biles-Thomas’ arrest Biles said that her “heart aches for everyone involved” in the shooting.
“There is nothing that I can say that will heal anyone’s pain, but I do want to express my sincere condolences to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy,” she said.