Man found not guilty in shooting of federal judge
DETROIT (WJBK) - A jury has found a man not guilty in the shooting of a U.S. District Judge in March of 2015. Kevin Smith Jr. was found guilty on three other charges connected to the case.
Judge Terrance Berg was taking out the garbage when he was approached by men trying to get inside his home. Berg refused and was shot in the leg. The 23-year-old Smith was charged with five counts including armed robbery, assault with intent to murder and felony firearm.
The six men and six women jury found him not guilty of the shooting but Berg's wife, Anita Sevier, is relieved nonetheless.
"Nobody has been convicted of taking responsibility for this crime, but we feel really certain that the right people are locked up, so that's okay," Sevier said.
Judge Berg was shot in the leg when he says he was approached by men trying to get inside his home. Smith was later arrested for the crime but ultimately said there wasn't enough evidence to convict him on armed robbery and assault with intent to murder. However, they did find him guilty of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and two felony firearms charges.
The defense had argued that Berg could not for sure say whether it was Smith who shot him. When Berg testified, he said he could not with 100 percent certainty identify Smith as the shooter. It was also said in court that Berg could not pick the suspect out in a line-up.
Judge Berg, who was not present for the verdict, is busy working on another case in Kentucky. Now his family hopes to return to a normal life.
"it's a very unfortunate situation with these young men who are all involved in the trial but again, they are not going to be harming other people right now and for that I am grateful," Sevier said. "It's an emotional roller coaster but this closes a chapter and puts it behind us now."
Smith remains in custody and is expected to be sentenced on June 8.