After a week and a half of testimony and jury deliberations, Joseph Ross-Jones has been cleared of all murder charges. Our Melissa Kakareka has more on the verdict that filled one family with emotions.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Family members of Joseph Ross-Jones let out an exclamation of joy inside Broome County Court Wednesday. After a day and a half of deliberations, the jury found Ross-Jones not guilty of murder.
"Yes, we are excited," said one family member coming out of the courthouse.
"Justice was served," said another family member.
Ross-Jones had been charged with second degree murder in the death of Daniel Martinez. In October of 2011, Martinez's body was found shot and stabbed multiple times in the woods in the Town of Chenango.
The prosecution claimed that Ross-Jones and another man, Daniel Doherty, murdered Martinez because they owed him drug money.
Doherty pleaded guilty to the crime and testified against Ross-Jones as part of a deal to lessen his own sentence down to manslaughter.
"I think the evidence is pretty clear. But it wasn't sufficient for the jury, so that’s their call," said Broome County District Attorney Gerald Mollen.
Despite winning the case for his client, defense attorney James Moran had no comment leaving the courtroom.
Throughout the trial, Moran accused Doherty of lying about the murder for his own benefit and also argued against alleged blood and forensic evidence that the prosecution presented.
The District Attorney doesn't feel the prosecutors or investigators should have done anything differently and says he respects the jury's decision.
"Each part of the system does its job and at the end of the day it’s for a jury to determine whether guilt is proven," said Mollen.
Daniel Doherty will be sentenced for the murder at a later date and faces a minimum of 23 years in prison.
Joseph Ross-Jones is now a free man.