CLEVELAND (WJW)– There was chaos in the courtroom on Tuesday as the suspect in a Cleveland triple murder was acquitted.
Tevin Biles-Thomas, 26, faced multiple counts of murder, voluntary manslaughter and felonious assault. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court officials said Judge Joan Synenberg granted a motion for acquittal by the defense for lack of evidence.
The county released video showing a woman from the gallery run towards the suspect. She was restrained by three deputies and continued to scream, “He killed my baby! You know he killed my baby!” as she was escorted out of the courtroom.
The shooting happened at a house party near Denison Avenue and West 45th Street in Cleveland on Dec. 31, 2018. Police said a group of people who were not invited showed up, resulting in a fight and gunfire. Three died: Delvante Johnson, 19; Toshaun Banks, 21; and Devaughn Gibson, 23. Gibson was Biles-Thomas’ cousin.
Joseph Patituce, defense attorney, said he was hit during the woman’s attack on his client.
“She lost a son and we understand, and we respect the fact that she has suffered horribly, her family has suffered horribly, just like the other families… Including Mr. Biles. I mean, Mr. Biles’ own cousin was murdered in this case and he had to sit there and stand trial with the accusation that he was responsible, murdered his own cousin, which simply wasn’t true,” Patituce said.
“We get it, she’s angry. She was led to believe Mr. Biles was guilty, when he wasn’t, and she reacted like a mother. We don’t fault her for that.” The woman is not facing charges for the incident.
Biles-Thomas, a soldier in the U.S. Army and brother of Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, was arrested in Georgia in August 2019. His first trial ended in a mistrial after jurors were inadvertently given paperwork related to the case.
This acquittal stemmed from witness testimony about the alleged shooter’s clothes the night of the murders.
“She said ‘Yeah, I’m 75 percent sure that that clothing is accurate. Not the client, not the defendant. She didn’t say she was 75 percent sure Tevin did it, she was saying she was 75 percent sure the person wearing those clothes did it. And then she also agrees with me that there was at least three other people who had the exact same clothes on,” Patituce said.
The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court is currently holding trials at the Huntington Convention Center to accommodate COVID-19 guidelines.