Commonwealth v. S.S.
In April, 2019 a “shootout” occurred on the 4700 block of Benner Street. Tragically, one of the bullets struck an innocent bystander- a mechanic who was working on a car at the time the shots began flying. After reviewing surveillance video from the area, S.S. and a co-defendant were identified as being suspected of firing shots at another group of individuals and being responsible for the one that killed the innocent mechanic. Ultimately, police obtained statements from several witnesses identifying S.S. as the gunman. A search warrant at S.S.’s house uncovered an empty 40 caliber magazine (40 cal casings were found at the scene) and clothing matching what S.S. was seen wearing on video. At trial, the defense witnesses were vigorously cross-examined and shown to have been motivated to cover for other close associates at the scene of there shooting who the defense alleged to have been the actual shooters. The defense further established through crime scene photos and ballistic evidence that S.S. could not have been responsible for firing a 40 caliber gun (video showed another individual in the area ofd those casings). Additionally, the defense investigated a retaliatory shooting that took place several hours laster where one of the witnesses in that shooting turned out to be present for the shooting on Benner Street. Through various pretrial motions, the defense was able to admit evidence that the intended target of the Benner Street shooting told her who was actually firing the shots- it turned out to be two individuals with close ties to the eyewitnesses who identified S.S. as the shooter. A jury quickly found S.S. not guilty and acquitted him of all charges.