Murder suspect facing death penalty found not guilty in 2013 homicide in PRP
Charles Washington, who faced the death penalty for a 2013 murder charge, was found not guilty Thursday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Charles Washington, who faced the death penalty for a 2013 murder charge, was found not guilty Thursday.
Washington was one of four men charged in connection to a home invasion and fatal shooting in the Crawford Crossing Apartments in Pleasure Ridge Park on Aug.12, 2013. Washington, Shakahakeen Boyd, Jevon Harris-Curry and Timothy Cross pleaded not guilty to murder, burglary, robbery and other charges.
LMPD detectives said the four men broke into 21-year-old Paul Barber’s apartment, demanding money, drugs and cell phones. Barber’s newborn son, fiancée and two other people were inside at the time.
Detectives said Barber was targeted. He was found dead outside the apartment with a gunshot wound.
All four suspects faced the death penalty, but Cross and Boyd took plea deals in order to testify against Washington.
“Mr. Cross and Mr. Boyd were facing the death penalty,” said Ted Shouse, who is representing Washington. “And the commonwealth cut deals with them to give them 12 years in prison. And in exchange, they had to testify against Mr. Washington.”
Shouse added that as part of the plea, the death penalty and murder charges were dropped for Cross and Boyd.
Shouse said the jury deliberated for over ten hours before acquitting Washington on the charges of murder and tampering with physical evidence. But the jury was hung on the charges of burglary and robbery.
"We are relieved for our client, and he is relieved," said Annie O'Connell, another attorney on the team representing Washington. "He's also mindful of the fact that somebody died in this case. And he sympathizes with the family and knows that is very difficult."
O'Connell said the decision and the amount of time the jury took to make it show the jury "took their job very seriously."
An acquittal in a capital case with the possibility of the death penalty is not common, Shouse said.
“It’s very unusual,” he said. “And what makes this particularly unusual is it took the commonwealth less than 16 hours to put on their case. A capital case usually lasts at least five days.”
Shouse said the commonwealth had no physical evidence tying Washington to the events of this case. He added that Cross and Boyd were unreliable witnesses.
“There’s also a larger issue at play in a case like this where you have inherently unreliable witnesses and no physical evidence," Shouse said. "That’s exactly how innocent people get sent to prison.”
The trial for the fourth suspect in this case, Harrison-Curry, will begin in October.
Washington will remain in jail, because he faces attempted murder and other charges in a different case. Two days after Barber was murdered, LMPD detectives said Washington attempted to rob and kill two other people. A date for this trial has not been set yet.
A spokesperson for the commonwealth said prosecutors cannot talk about the cases since everything is still up in the air. However, the spokesperson said it will depend how this second trial goes whether or not the commonwealth will decide to retry Washington on the hung charges of burglary and robbery in Barber’s case.
Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.