Smith, Harris Innocent of Most Serious Murder Charge

Jurors in the “21st and Vietnam” murder trial reached yet another partial verdict on Friday, announcing decisions on a total of five charges against Jekwan Smith, Johnnie Harris, and Stanley Moghalu.

The verdict is the fourth in the case; jurors have been deliberating since Aug. 20.

On Friday the jury found Smith and Harris, charged with the death of Isaiah Sheffield, innocent of first-degree premeditated murder while armed. The two men could still be convicted of second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter while armed in connection with Sheffield’s death. The jury will continue to deliberate on those charges.

Smith, Harris, Moghalu, and Anthony Hatton are alleged members of a crew called “21st and Vietnam,” and are charged with counts including conspiracy, first-degree murder, obstruction of justice, assault, and weapons charges related to the deaths of Sheffield, Tyrell Fogle and Steven Moore.

Earlier this week, Moghalu and Harris were found innocent of murder and firearms charges in connection with the December 2011 shooting death of 36-year-old Moore. On Friday, jurors also found Moghalu and Harris innocent on a charge of obstruction of justice in connection with Moore’s death.

Moghalu, 25, was found innocent on a separate charge of committing a crime while on release, in Moore’s death.

No verdicts were delivered for Hatton Friday, who was found innocent in August on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and carrying a pistol without a license in the August 2011 shooting death of 17-year-old Fogle.

The indictment in the case included a total of 21 charges.

Jurors in the case are expected to continue deliberations Monday.

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