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Nashville's Criminal Injustice System


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  • Nashville's Criminal Injustice System

    If you're from Nashville then you know about this case.....


    Jury acquits getaway driver in Bellacino's murders
    12 hours of deliberations produce verdict

    By Kate Howard • THE TENNESSEAN • September 26, 2009
    Comments Read Comments(13) • Recommend • Print Print • ShareThis
    UPDATE 1:30 PM

    Ravaughn Harris, who was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of felony murder and one count of especially aggravated robbery, was acquitted of all charges.

    Harris had admitted to driving the getaway car for the two people who robbed the Bellacino's restaurant on Oct. 26, 2007, where two employees were shot execution-style.

    Deliberations ended at 1 p.m. today after about 12 hours. The verdict of not guilty on all counts was announced at 1:30 p.m. Harris had no visible reaction, though the roughly 25 friends and family members who sat throughout the trial cheered, clapped and sobbed.

    Harris was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Christopher Caris and Joshua Cole during a robbery at a Bellacino's restaurant nearly two years ago.

    Prosecutors say he was the getaway driver and provided one of the guns used in the deadly robbery.

    The jury foreman, an attorney, asked Judge Randall Wyatt if jurors could take copies of their instructions back to the hotel where they are sequestered. The judge agreed.

    The instructions outlined lesser offenses Harris could be convicted of, and explained criminal responsibility, the provision of the law allowing him to be charged with murder even though he did not pull the trigger.

    Harris has denied knowing that a robbery was about to take place on Oct. 26, 2007, when he drove to apartments behind the White Bridge Road strip mall where the restaurant was located.

    He told jurors he was in shock when Jason Bobo got into his car with a gun and told him he'd shot two people.

    But prosecutors say he was involved in planning the robbery, expected to get paid and even provided a gun for Bobo's accomplice to carry into the restaurant.

    Defense attorney Joy Kimbrough told the jury that Harris, 22, is not a thug, a killer or a criminal.

    "This young man was going to school, working hard, being productive," she said. "He did everything he was supposed to do, except the one thing he didn't see coming.
    Last edited by stand_by_one; 09-26-2009, 09:34 PM.

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