Davidson found not guilty of attempted murder
KANKAKEE — Troy J. Davidson Jr. was found not guilty of attempted murder in a 2017 shooting in which one of the two victims was set to testify in another trial.
The jury deliberated 71 minutes on Friday.
A dozen family and friends of Davidson were in the courtroom. They had been in attendance throughout the week long trial.
“Whose picking me up?” Davidson said as Kankakee County Sheriff’s deputies were preparing to take him back to Jerome Combs Detention Center to be processed out.
Davidson was released on a $50,000 recognizance bond since he still has a pending case.
He has been in jail since Dec. 22, 2017, when U.S. Marshals took him into custody at his cousin’s home in Champaign.
“To everyone involved, I want to thank you. I really am innocent, and today it showed,” Davidson told the Daily Journal.
Davidson said after he is released, he is going back to finish school to become an over-the-road driver.
Davidson was accused of shooting the 38-year-old victim and shooting at the victim’s girlfriend on Nov. 1, 2017.
The victim testified that he and Davidson had been friends since 2011 or 2012.
Prosecutors said the shooting was an attempt to silence the victim before he could testify in another shooting case from earlier that year in which he also was the victim.
Cousins Zevez Murrell and Brandon Murrell are both charged with aggravated intimidation and intimidation in the case.
The victim and his girlfriend were outside near his car when Davidson is alleged to have jumped out of another vehicle parked on the street and opened fire, striking the victim 11 times in his right leg, two or three times in his right arm and once in his genital area.
His girlfriend testified she was carrying a 9 mm in her waistband for protection. She said she returned fire and that she shot the suspect.
Davidson’s attorneys, Bart Beals and Cierra N. Norris, hammered away at the state’s case saying that there was no vehicle found, no gunshot residue testing done on one of the victim’s guns, no blood from his client found at the scene, no messages on his phone from Zevez Murrell prior to the shooting, no GPS tracking and that both victims had changed the stories they told Kankakee Police investigators.
“Quite frankly, there was no evidence,” Beals told the Daily Journal.
“In cases where there is bad evidence, most jurors are fair-minded people. They saw that.”
Norris said when police officers don’t do the proper work during an investigation it makes it a tough situation for everyone involved.
Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe said his office will continue to prosecute anyone who tries to intimidate witnesses.
“We are disappointed in the verdict,” he said.
Assistant State’s Attorneys Daniel Reedy and Erika Hamer prosecuted the case.