“It was a quick and expected verdict a Tift County jury handed down Wednesday afternoon in the armed robbery and kidnapping trial against 18-year-old Kadeem Harris.
It was a short trial, lasting only three hours from opening statements to closing arguments, with very few witnesses and even less evidence. The jury deliberated for only 30 minutes before declaring Harris not guilty… During closing arguments, Beckstrom told the jurors they had three choices: They could believe what Smith said happened and convict the defendant, they could believe what Harris said and acquit the defendant or they could think they weren’t sure which one to believe and acquit.
‘There’s the case in a nutshell,’ he said.
According to the jury foreman, Beckstrom was right.
‘All we had for evidence was that sheet of paper (the photo lineup) and what the two of them said,’ Waters told The Gazette after the not guilty verdict.
‘Where was the gun?” she asked. “Did they even look the for gun?’
‘Wasn’t there any evidence that he had taken out a tax refund loan? Not even a loan paper?’ she asked.
Waters summed up the thoughts of many people in the courtroom Wednesday when she said, ‘He might have done it but there was just no evidence, none at all.'” – Read more: State v. Kadeem Harris