Teen Homicide Defendant Acquitted

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A jury acquitted Zachariah Allison, 18, for the murder of 15-year-old Ja’Nyi Weeden on Feb. 2 before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Robert K. Taylor, Jr.

On Aug. 8, 2021, a dispute led to a physical fight between a 15-year-old and an 18-year-old girl on Wakefield Road. When Allison became involved in a follow up melee he allegedly shot at shot at the group, fatally injuring Weeden.

Baltimore Police Department officers found Weeden on the 3700 block of Gelston Drive. She later died from her injuries at University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. It was disclosed at trial that Allison sold the gun used in the crime shortly after the incident. 

Meanwhile, Allison’s defense attorney, Andre Mahasa, argued the case against Allison was based on insufficient evidence, highlighting the lack of direct forensic or video proof connecting Allison to the crime and pointing out poor visibility and the chaotic nature of the crime scene at the time of the incident.

Allison was originally charged with first-degree murder, firearm use in a felony violent crime, possession of a firearm as a minor, third-degree burglary, reckless endangerment and second-degree assault. 

However, the jury delivered a not guilty verdict for first- and second-degree murder, and a guilty verdict for possession of a firearm as a minor, reckless endangerment and second-degree assault. The third-degree burglary charge was dismissed. 

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