Homicide Defendant Found Not Guilty on All Charges - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Homicide Defendant Found Not Guilty on All Charges

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After six hours of deliberations spread out over two days, 28-year-old Marquis Knight has been found not guilty on all charges, in the shooting death of 19-year-old Allen Basham.

"I just want my son to get home and get his life together and get back on track and decide what he's going to do with his life." said Marquis father Mark Knight.

The shootout happened on April 16th of 2016, outside of an apartment party in the 1100 block of West 26th Street.

Investigators say it happened during a larger shootout, where more than 40 shots were fired from at least four people.

During the trial, Knight took the stand, where he testified that Basham shot at him first while he was sitting in his car.

Knight, who has his license to carry, said he returned fire because he feared for his life.

"When you have a self-defense case like this, where we believe the facts really supported that defense, it just adds a lot of pressure to it, to make sure that an innocent man doesn't go to jail for the rest of his life." said Knights lawyer Eric Hackwelder.

Meanwhile, Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri said the evidence showed that Knight chased after Basham and shot him in the back as he attempted to run away.

Daneri also said another motive, was gang affiliation.

During testimony, it was revealed that Basham was wearing a Four Nation T-shirt, which Daneri identified as an east Erie gang.  Daneri said that Knight was part of a west Erie gang called Shid Nation, which Knight denied.

The jury decided Knight acted in self-defense.

"Obviously, the family and us are disappointed with the verdict, said Daneri.  But clearly, the jury spent a lot of time going over the evidence, which was extensive."

After serving 15 months in prison, Knight's immediately eligible for parole.  His father says the incident has taken a heavy toll on both families.

"We have all payed a heavy price, said Mr. Knight.  I hate what the Basham family is going through.  We've been close to that family all our lives.  It's nothing against them.  I understand they wanted justice for their son.  I just don't know what to say.  I'm just ecstatic for my son right now.  He's coming home to his family.

Members of the Basham family declined to comment.

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