Jury Finds Cheron Shelton Not Guilty In Wilkinsburg Mass Shooting Trial

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The jury has reached a verdict in the Wilkinsburg mass shooting trial.


On Friday, day four of deliberations, the jury found Cheron Shelton not guilty of murder just before noon.


(Source: Allegheny County)


Shelton was the lone defendant accused of killing five people, including an unborn baby, at a 2016 cookout in Wilkinsburg.


The jury was tasked with deciding if Shelton was innocent or guilty of first degree murder or third degree murder.


RELATED STORIES:


KDKA’s Amy Wadas was in the courtroom when the verdict was read, and she said you could feel the emotion.


Family members of the victims were holding tissues, sobbing and crying when they heard the verdict.


WATCH: Shelton’s Defense Attorneys React To Not Guilty Verdict

Shelton’s family members at first appeared serious as everyone filed back into the courtroom, but KDKA’s Amy Wadas reports they were relieved when he was acquitted.


The judge did say Shelton’s bond will be revoked until other matters of the court will be taken care of. A gag order was previously in place, but it will now be lifted.


The trial began with two suspects, the charges dropped against Robert Thomas after one of the prosecution’s key witnesses, only identified as “witness three” allegedly admitted to the murder of a baby in a separate case involving a shooting at a picnic in the East Hills in 2013 that claimed the life of a toddler.


There was also an ongoing back-and-forth between prosecutors and Shelton’s defense attorneys who claimed a witness told them he was paid to fabricate information about Shelton.


WATCH: Robert Thomas’ Defense Attorneys Speak After Shelton’s Acquittal

Prosecutors have denied any misconduct.


“They built a case around him without any solid evidence, and focused on him without, as it was described by the media, the case was a house of cards,” said Chelton’s defense attorney Wendy Williams.


Talking to Thomas’ defense attorneys, they say it was a team effort between them and Shelton’s lawyers, Wendy Williams and Randall McKinney, to get charges against Thomas dropped and Shelton acquitted.


“It seemed to me that Mr. Shelton was a suspect early on without much evidence to corroborate that, and they narrowed in and focused in on him without following any other leads. I think they did that to their detriment,” said Shelton’s defense attorney McKinney.


Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.