|By George P. Hassett|
Jurors acquitted a Boston man Friday of a double shooting that shocked neighbors on a quiet section of Walnut Street three years ago.
Jean Roy, 27, walked out of court a free man after a jury found him not guilty of murdering Lesley College student John Micelin and shooting another man, who survived the attack, at 4 a.m. on May 6, 2007 - reportedly over a cocaine deal gone bad.
"On behalf of two young men, one killed and another critically wounded by gun violence, we presented a strong and solid case with evidence including the testimony of the surviving victim identifying the defendant as the shooter. With [Friday's] verdict, we must accept the fact that the jury's collective judgment rendered a not guilty verdict," Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone said in a statement.
According to a report filed by Trooper Bruce O'Rourke of the Massachusetts State Police, the surviving victim called Roy, known to him as "Dreddy," around 3 a.m. the morning of the murder and arranged to pick him up in Boston. O'Rourke's report said the victim's phone had logged a call to a phone registered to Roy around 3 a.m. that day. The driver told police he was directed by Roy to drive into Somerville and eventually park on Walnut Street.
Police said Roy and the two victims were in the same silver Cadillac at the time of the shooting. Roy shot both men in the back of the head while sitting in the backseat and then fled in another car, police said when Roy was arrested.
Micelin was pronounced dead at the scene but the second victim survived the shooting, played dead until Roy left and then ran up Walnut Street for help, according to court records. The man happened to run to the home of a doctor who treated him for his wounds.
The surviving victim testified at trial and identified Roy as the man who shot him.
Micelin and the second victim were found wearing surgical gloves and police sources said Roy shot the men because of a drug run they made for him to New York City.
A friend of Micelin's however disputed that Micelin was involved in drug dealing. Zach Rocha played basketball at Lesley College with Micelin and he said he remembers the 23-year-old as "a kid with a pure heart who always helped younger teammates."
Micelin was the son of Haitian immigrants and was working hard toward a college degree, Rocha said.
Rocha helped set up an annual scholarship award, dubbed "55 Alive" in honor of Micelin's jersey number, that awards $550 to a graduating senior student-athlete each year.
Roy faced a life sentence if convicted of first degree murder.
On Walnut Street this week a man who declined to give his name said he was startled the morning after the shooting but the acquittal did not concern him. "[The shooting incident] ended here, but it didn't start here from what I understand," he said.