The mother of Devon Anglin claims her son should never have been charged with the killing of 4-year-old Jeremiah Barnes.
Speaking after the 30-year-old was cleared of the murder for a second time, Katina Anglin said he had been unfairly targeted for the crime.
“We will never stop thanking God for the court’s upholding of the ‘not guilty’ verdict previously handed down by Justice [Howard] Cooke in the first trial,” said Ms. Anglin.
She added that she was disheartened that a retrial had been held following the first verdict to “appease the public.” Devon Anglin remains in prison, where he is serving a life sentence for the murder of Carlo Webster.
Jeremiah Barnes was fatally shot while seated behind his father, Andy Barnes, in the family car at the Hell Gas Station in West Bay on Feb. 10, 2010. It was accepted by both the defense and the prosecution that the boy’s father was the intended target.
The boy’s parents, Andy Barnes and Dorlisa Ebanks, both identified Anglin as the shooter. Anglin’s lawyers pointed to inconsistencies in their evidence. Justice Charles Quin, in his ruling Tuesday, said the couple had only a short window to observe the shooter and suggested their identification evidence could not be relied on to say, beyond reasonable doubt, that Anglin was the killer.
Police Commissioner David Baines said he was disappointed with the verdict.
“Today our thoughts are with Dorlisa Ebanks and Andy Barnes, the parents of Jeremiah Barnes, who have waited so long for closure to this tragic ordeal since the murder of their innocent four-year-old son in 2010. They fully played their part in ensuring that evidence was presented at trial, and have sought justice for their son for several years now,” the commissioner said in a statement Wednesday.
Ms. Anglin said the case against her son had relied on false identification evidence and inconsequential circumstantial details, such as his Nike Air trainers.
She said she was sorry for the death of the 4-year-old but insisted her son was innocent.
“I also need the public to understand this. The family or Jeremiah was not the only family that endured this. Among other things, I was forced to flee the country because of threats.”
She said she had endured two trials, listening to “statements of hatred and persecution” about her son.
She added, “Please do not be alarmed that we did not present a defense case. We didn’t need to. The prosecution’s own experts and their other witnesses called proved that my son was not only ‘not guilty,’ but truly innocent of the charges he was accused of.
“We thank God and the courts for this righteous judgement and the few true friends who stuck it out with us through it all and the defense team in its entirety, through Samson & McGrath.”