LOS ANGELES (AP) — An 18-year-old man was acquitted Monday for his alleged role in a gang-related killing in South Los Angeles last year when he was a senior at a suburban high school.
Cameron Terrell was found not guilty of one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder, City News Service reported. He had pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Prosecutors said the white teen from upscale Palos Verdes allegedly joined a predominantly black Los Angeles street gang. Terrell was identified in a complaint with the moniker “White Boy.”
Police said he drove the car involved in the October 2017 shooting death of Justin Holmes, 21. Holmes had no gang affiliations, authorities said. Two juveniles were arrested along with Terrell and were charged with murder.
Surveillance video showed the 16-year-old alleged shooter and the other teenager jumping into the back seat of a black Mercedes-Benz sedan after the shooting. The car was registered to Terrell’s father and was typically driven by Terrell, investigators said.
Defense attorney Jovan Blacknell told jurors his client didn’t know anyone was going to be shot on a Sunday in broad daylight.
“Cameron didn’t expect to hear gunshots. He didn’t expect any of this to happen,” said Blacknell, questioning why Terrell would drive “his daddy’s car” if he knew there was going to be a shooting.
A police officer testified at a previous hearing that a photo found by investigators on the defendant’s cellphone showed a young man who appeared to be Terrell making a hand sign derogatory to a rival gang.
Terrell was released from custody last year on a $5 million bond. His family pulled him from classes at Palos Verdes High School after other parents labeled him as a danger to students.
Terrell’s attorney has said his client is working toward finishing his high school education. He did not say whether Terrell is being home-schooled or attending classes elsewhere.
The status of the case against the two teens arrested with Terrell was not immediately available.