(WJBK) - Acquitted but still ordered to serve time. A Detroit business owner is found not guilty for killing a would-be-attacker at his store. So if a jury ruled he didn't commit the crime, why would he still be sent to prison?
It is called an inconsistent jury verdict and it is something that's been happening for decades. In this case it has the family and lawyer of the man behind bars saying he shouldn't be in prison - and the family of the man he killed saying he should never be let out.
"It's some kind of joke," said Alexis Royal, a friend of the victim. "That's not the beginning of any kind of justice."
Alexis Royal doesn't mince words about the two years Keith Hudson is spending behind bars for shooting and killing her boyfriend, 26-year-old Marcel Dubose.
"You murdered a family man in broad daylight," she said. "An unarmed family man that allowed you in his life that allowed you in his family's life. You murdered him."
But a jury did not see it that way. Although Hudson was convicted of having a gun while committing or attempting to commit a felony, he was found not guilty of murder in January when he was first tried for killing Dubose and he was cleared again when the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office tried him for manslaughter in April.
The felony firearm sentence charge carries a mandatory two-year prison sentence. But here's the sticking point, Hudson was cleared of the crimes that formed the basis of his felony firearm conviction.
It's called an inconsistent verdict.
"It is illogical," said Warren Harris, a defense attorney. "But our appellate courts long ago decided that juries are not held to the same standards that a judge is.
"In other words juries don't have to follow logic and they are allowed to give an inconsistent verdict."
The shooting happened in October outside the now closed original Hip Hop Shop on Detroit's west side. Hudson owned it and claimed he shot Dubose in self-defense, because the MMA fighter and father of three came after him with a piece of asphalt.
"I think it's an injustice myself," said Hudson's father. "You're just defending yourself and you get two years in prison."
But Royal, the mother of two of Dubose's children, claims Hudson threatened to kill Marcel the day of the shooting. She is unnerved he will soon taste freedom while she and her family cope with a devastating loss.
"Life has been hard because this is somebody that I pretty much stopped my life to build a life with," Royal said. "The father of both my only two children. This is somebody's dad. I thought would be there forever."
"Did the legal system get this right," Harris said. "The law has been followed, put it that way."
"I don't think he should've been convicted of anything," said Hudson's father.
An inconsistent verdict that's left both sides feeling they haven’t received justice.
Hudson's parents, who did not want their faces shown on camera, are appealing the felony firearm conviction but chances are he will be released from prison before that appeal gains any steam.