Update: Verdict in 59th/Admiral shooting case: “Not guilty”

BULLETIN: Verdict for the 18-year-old defendant: Not guilty, not of murder, not of manslaughter, not of anything. His mother cried, “Oh my God,” sitting in the front row. More shortly. 4:15 PM UPDATE: Took extra time to get to “shortly” — we talked with defense lawyer Robert Perez after he went down a floor to handle paperwork for his client’s immediate release. The trial is not completely over — on Monday, jurors will return in order to decide another matter: Perez filed a motion for the state to pay his client’s legal costs if he was cleared. We’ll be there for that part of the case too. Separate full report later recapping the case and today’s developments. (Again, full archive of trial coverage is at the bottom of last night’s story.)

gavel.jpgORIGINAL 2:37 PM POST: There’s word the jury has reached a verdict in the murder trial that only WSB has been covering, with an Alki 18-year-old claiming self-defense in the deadly shooting of 33-year-old Francisco Bailey-Ortiz inside a car at 59th/Admiral on 10/13/07. I am now standing by in the downtown courtroom of Superior Court Judge Richard Eadie, with reporter Rachel Gabrielle – who’s been covering the trial – on the way here, and I will post the verdict as soon as it’s read. (To catch up on the story, follow the links at the bottom of Rachel’s latest report.) – TR

9 Replies to "Update: Verdict in 59th/Admiral shooting case: "Not guilty""

  • Sherry October 31, 2008 (4:04 pm)

    Not guilty on all counts. My sister, Donna Larsen, volunteered on the defense team.

  • Rachel Gabrielle October 31, 2008 (4:15 pm)

    Ahh, Donna is great! We got to know each other well over the course of the trial.

  • Sean October 31, 2008 (4:24 pm)

    Great job by the defense team. Hope they prevail on their claim for reimbursement; the jury was obviously not impressed by the State’s evidence.

  • Robert Perez October 31, 2008 (5:43 pm)

    Just a slight correction. The motion we filed is not solely for legal costs. We donated our time on the case. The real purpose in filing this motion is to give our client the opportunity to be compensated for his lost time spent sitting in jail for the last year for acts which a jury unanimously found justifiable. This right is granted by statute under Washington law and will provide my client with the therapy and education he will need to go forward with his life.

    My thanks to the people of the community of West Seattle and to Rachel for her fair and accurate coverage of the proceedings. I know that an event like this is troubling to any community, and my client and I both regret that a life had to be lost in this case. But I hope that now that the story has been told that some solace can be had in knowing that the person responsible for this tragedy will never again rob a child of his innocence and childhood.

  • Aim October 31, 2008 (5:49 pm)

    Thank god. May he find strength and healing.

  • WSB October 31, 2008 (7:35 pm)

    Thanks, Mr. Perez – your interview will be in the longer form of this we’re writing tonight, and we’ll have the full details there – TR

  • L. I. October 31, 2008 (8:42 pm)

    The first travesty was the abuse the boy suffered, and that he was not protected by “the system” that would later prosecute him for protecting his own life. The second is that this last year of his life — an incredibly transformative year in the course of one’s life where plans for education or employment are first formulated — has been robbed from him by an overzealous criminal justice system that inaccurately portrayed the boy as a danger to society and as a flight risk sufficient to warrant his incarceration during trial. At the very least, if this trial had to take place, why did the boy have to be taken away from his friends and family and have his life disrupted? Short of defending himself against an abuser, he was a danger to no one. There was no evidence of him exhibiting violence to any member of the community. Incarceration certainly does not improve anyone’s mental state, and has exponentially deleterious affects on a young person’s psyche. Not only was the boy placed by the state in a dangerous situation where he might again become the victim of sexual abuse, but he was also robbed of his right to education. The least this boy deserves now is funds to provide him with the therapy that will help him process the trauma of his life, and funds that will secure his educational future.

    It took (if I’m not mistaken) just four hours of deliberation for jurors to sort through the evidence and agree on completely exonerating the boy of the charges filed against him. He is no longer a defendant.

    The jury found the acts were completely justifiable and that the boy acted in self defense as a reasonable person in his circumstances would. A complete exoneration was not unexpected or surprising, given the facts, but it must be really be something to have a group of strangers essentially tell you they heard your story, and they believed you. Finally.

  • add October 31, 2008 (10:56 pm)

    “..but it must be really be something to have a group of strangers essentially tell you they heard your story, and they believed you.”

    That was a very powerful statement. Thanks LI.

  • family friend October 31, 2008 (11:20 pm)

    add ………you a friend of the family? ;-)

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