Man acquitted of 2007 murders of stepfather, woman

June 16, 2018 - 3:46 pm

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A man has been acquitted of the Philadelphia murders of his stepfather and a great-grandmother police say could have been al witness to the slaying more than a decade ago.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that jurors deliberated for a little less than five hours Friday before acquitting 32-year-old Theo Berry in the March 2007 murders of 41-year-old Duane Bell and 64-year-old Cotneita Hanchard.

Berry was arrested in December 2009. A 2012 death penalty trial ended in a hung jury.

Prosecutors cited no motive and presented no eyewitnesses or forensic evidence but said cellphone records placed the defendant nearby and show he called his stepfather minutes before the murders.

Defense attorney Brian McMonagle told jurors Thursday that prosecutors hadn't "come within a million miles" of proving that Berry was the killer.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com

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