Thursday, May 17, 2001

Man freed after trial in three killings

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A 19-year-old Mount Airy man who has spent nearly four months in jail awaiting trial on a triple homicide in Springfield Township was freed Wednesday and the charges against him dropped.

        Two witnesses who testified during Jerome Carter's trial Tuesday and Wednesday gave testimony that conflicted with earlier statements they made during a grand jury investigation.

        Originally considered witnesses for the prosecution, Joyce Gilbert, 41, and her 14-year-old son had to be declared hostile witnesses.

        Prosecutors repeatedly showed the pair copies of the statements they made during a grand jury hearing, which implicated Mr. Carter in the deaths of Miko Carter, 22; Clarence Julian, 19; and Gabriel Beckham, 16.

        At times, Ms. Gilbert was unable to clearly recall what she had said. She contradicted herself multiple times and at one point wept because she had to continue to talk about the case.

        Her son told prosecutors he lied during the grand jury hearing because he was scared.

        Two other witnesses were not served with subpoenas because officials could not find them.

        Defense attorneys asked for Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Steve Martin to acquit Mr. Carter, who had been charged with three counts each of aggravated murder, murder and aggravated robbery.

        Prosecutors did not object and Judge Martin granted the request.

        Mr. Carter cannot be tried again on these charges.

        The bodies of the three men were found New Year's Day.


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