It is the words every defendant longs to hear- not guilty. After two days of testimony, countless witnesses and a defendant who claimed from the start he was not even there when Johnathan Pierce was killed,, Sammy Miracle walked away a free man at 1:20 Friday afternoon.
The not guilty on all counts verdict came within less than hour of deliberation from the 12 person panel. As the verdict was read, Miracle's family had to be calmed down by court security officers. For them it was an emotional ending to a long two and half year journey. One that Miracle's grandmother, Doris Tucker, felt would end just as it did."It's what we have been praying for," Tucker said her face still wet with tears of joy.
"Praise the Lord," Dorothy Roach, his cousin repeated. Miracle was the first person to leave the courtroom, being escorted out by police officers. Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton said Miracle would be processed and then released. Miracle's co- defendants, Miranda Kirby, did not fare as well. Last August Kirby was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 51 years in jail. Travis Gaylor plead guilty earlier this year and is awaiting sentencing in Pierce's death. For a complete recap of the trial read next week's LaFollette Press.