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Emotions ran high at an Ohio courthouse on Tuesday, when Tevin Biles-Thomas, the brother of Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles, was acquitted of murder charges and was then confronted by the mother of one fo the victims.
Body cam footage, obtained by Cleveland.com, captured the mother of Delvante Johnson running toward Biles-Thomas, knocking over barriers to reach the defendant before sheriff’s deputies successfully restrained the distraught woman and led her away.
“He killed my baby,” the mother screamed in the Cuyahoga County courthouse. “You know he killed my baby!”
The woman, identified by Cleveland.com as Brandie Johnson, was handcuffed and led out of the court room; she was later released with no charges, the news outlet reported, citing a county spokesperson.
Biles-Thomas faced charges of murder, voluntary manslaughter, and felonious assault stemming from a 2018 New Year’s Eve house party in Cleveland. That night, three men were shot to death: Delvante Johnson, 19, Toshaun Banks, 21, and Bile-Thomas’s cousin, 23-year-old Devaughn Gibson.
“Around 11:30 p.m., an uninvited group walked into the house and an altercation ensued,” said the Cleveland Division of Police and Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office in a joint statement, according to the New York Times. “The altercation led to gunfire and multiple victims were shot, three of which were fatal. Several party attendees fled the scene.”
On Tuesday, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Joan Synenberg dismissed the charges against Biles-Thomas, citing the fact that there wasn't enough evidence to convict the defendant, according to the New York Post. Leading up to the ruling, prosecutors' primary witness was a woman who said she was 75% sure of her testimony, according to Biles-Thomas' attorney, Joseph Patituce.
“She said, ‘Yeah, I’m 75% sure that clothing is accurate,’” Patituce told local news outlet Fox8. “Not the client, not the defendant; she didn’t say she was 75% sure Tevin did it. She was saying she was 75% sure the person wearing those clothes did it. And then she also agrees with me that there were at least three other people who had the exact same clothes on.”
There was no physical evidence tying Biles-Thomas, a U.S. Army soldier, to the killings.
As officers escorted Brandie Johnson from the courthouse, Patituce praised Judge Synenberg’s decision.
“Three people are dead, it’s horrible, and it’s a tragedy,” Patituce said, according to Cleveland.com. “We elect judges to make hard decisions, and she [Synenberg] made a legally correct one.”
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