By Stephanie Wolf
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — On Monday, a 12-member jury panel acquitted 25-year-old Tyler Scott Williamson, finding him not guilty on all counts of murder for the 2012 gang-related shooting of Kevin McCray outside of 2 Dog Tavern in southeast Colorado Springs.
After a four-hour deliberation, four of the jurors told The Gazette there simple wasn’t enough evidence to convict Williamson of first- and second-degree murder.
“We don’t know if he did or didn’t,” juror Jodi Willis told the newspaper after Monday’s trial. “There wasn’t enough proof to find him guilty, based on the evidence.”
The case concerned the Aug. 19, 2012 early-morning killing of McCray, who was shoot three times in the back while attempting to resolve a dispute between a friend and three strangers — the three men had told McCray and his friend they were members of a gang.
Williamson, who hasn’t denied his ties to the gang associated with the murder, would have faced life in prison without parole had he been convicted.
Williamson openly expressed high emotions when 4th Judicial District Judge David Shakes finished reading the final verdict, breaking down into tears in the arms of his attorneys.
Both of those attorneys, Dennis McGuire and Jeremy Loew, were public defenders and praised the jury for “making the right choice.”
As to Williamson’s relations to the gang, McGuire said his client plans to “leave that life behind.”
While Williamson’s supporters celebrated the verdict, McCray’s mother made a hasty exit. Her grief could be heard in the hallways of the courthouse.
“He got out! He got out!” she wailed. “He killed my son and he got out!”
While emotions surrounding the case were high, Williamson’s attorney always insisted the forensic evidence was weak and that the eye witness accounts had too many discrepancies.
They said Williamson left the scene before the shooting and pointed out that investigators failed to question other patrons matching the suspect’s description.
Lead prosecutor Brien Cecil told The Gazette that while he respected the court’s decision, he was disappointed.
Ultimately, the verdict seemed to be summed up by jury member Joy Massey, who told the Gazette that sending a man to jail for life is a “big responsibility,” and that “there were to many holes” in the case presented by the prosecution to do so.