A jury discovered a 27-year-old Black man not responsible of second-degree homicide within the 2017 loss of life of his girlfriend, who was struck and killed throughout an alternate of gunfire as police carried out a narcotics raid on a Florida residence, Treasure Coast Information reported.
Andrew Espresso IV confronted six fees in reference to the raid on his Gifford residence. A jury on Friday acquitted him of 5 of these fees together with second-degree homicide, three counts of tried homicide of legislation enforcement and taking pictures or throwing a lethal missile.
Espresso’s girlfriend, 21-year-old Alteria Woods was within the residence when a tactical staff with the Indian River County Sheriff’s executed a search warrant.
“The Woods household by no means blamed Andrew ‘A.J.’ Espresso IV for the loss of life of their daughter, Alteria Woods,” an legal professional for the Woods household said after the jury acquitted Espresso of the cost associated to the younger lady’s loss of life. “They’re pleased with the jury’s verdict and that justice prevailed immediately.”
Espresso mentioned he noticed a rifle pointing via an open bed room window and thought he was being robbed as a result of the police didn’t make their presence identified. However police say they did announce themselves and solely returned hearth after Espresso fired a weapon a number of occasions out of the window.
When police fired into the house, Woods was struck by gunfire 10 occasions and died. A grand jury didn’t indict the deputies who opened hearth on the house.
The case has drawn comparisons to the loss of life of Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by Kentucky officers final 12 months as they executed a no-knock warrant on her residence. Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker additionally fired at police, whom he mentioned he thought had been intruders. Walker confronted felony fees in reference to the raid, together with tried homicide of a legislation enforcement officer, however a decide dismissed these fees completely in March.
The jury did discover Espresso responsible on Friday of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a felon. He faces as much as 30 years in jail for the offense. Espresso’s legal professional Julia Graves shared plans to attraction the decision.
“We knew there was going to be a problem by the possession of the firearm by a convicted felon as a result of that’s why we stipulated that he was in possession and stipulated he was a convicted felon, however we had been hoping for the duress and necessity and self-defense on that,” she said.
Yolanda Woods, Woods’ mom, filed a lawsuit in January 2021 in federal court docket in opposition to the deputies who carried out the raid. In response to the go well with, police obtained a tip that Espresso had 14 grams of cocaine in his residence earlier than 20 officers arrived and deployed a “flash bang’ via the entrance door of the house.
The go well with, which alleges deputies violated Woods’ constitutional rights, was placed on maintain pending the end result of felony proceedings.
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