Jury finds Jarrett Stokes not guilty of murder
WICOMICO CO., Md. On Thursday, a man once found guilty of murder walks free all thanks to the efforts of his defense team and a new jury. Three years ago, Jarrett Stokes, a 22-year-old was sentenced to 25 to life, but that all changed in just four days.
Stokes is now a free man and per the latest jury not guilty of killing 17-year-old Rakim Russell. Now, while the results of that decision sound simple enough, getting there was anything but easy.
Outside of countless hours of testimony, lots of evidence, and a five hour long deliberation, there was also the issue of the first verdict which was thrown out because the judge allowed an investigator to read the statement of a co-defendant.
That statement was blocked this time around and instead the jury had to focus on the testimony of the getaway car driver Marquel Pinder, who claims that Stokes was sitting in the passenger seat when he fired shots into a crowd outside of America’s Best Value Inn back in 2015.
Ultimately the jury decided that Pinder wasn’t trustworthy or that there wasn’t enough evidence to corroborate his story. Something the defense reiterated countless times throughout the four day trial – the lack of physical evidence pinning Stokes as the trigger man, giving the jury enough reason to set him free.
The other co-defendants in this case, Larry Ennis and Ky’Shir Connally, are both already serving life sentences for their role in the death of Rakim Russell.