Family Of 12-Year-Old Murder Victim Critical Of Judge’s Decision

By Ralph Iannotti

NORTH SIDE (KDKA) — Three years to the day after a 12-year-old girl was shot and killed in a North Side gang-related shooting, one of the men originally charged in the case walked out of the Allegheny County Jail a free man.

Anthony Wilson, 33, was acquitted Friday in a non-jury trial before Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Manning. The judge said he believed in Wilson’s alibis.

Friday, on the third anniversary of Jolesa Barber’s slaying, her family held a service at a church, celebrating her short life, but there were also pain evident at the service.

Jolesa’s sister, Rayneisa Wade, spoke.

“For him [Judge Manning] to decide that Wilson was not guilty on her third anniversary, I want the judge to walk in our shoes to see how we feel right now, because that decision was wrong,” she said.

“Wilson gets a not guilty on her anniversary – that’s incredible,” Kimberly Wade, Jolesa’s mother, said. Asked if justice was blind in this case, Wade said, “It is.”

Investigators said Barber was not the intended target when the shots rang out on that cold January night, but her brother was the likely target.

Another defendant in the case, 18-year-old Michael Gist, pleaded guilty to third degree murder and has been sentenced up to 60 years in prison.

  • Mark Galecki

    Unbelievable. There is something wrong with the justice system. I don’t know how the judge and lawyers sleep at night.

    • poop

      guess you missed the part where they said someone else plead guilty to the crime.
      you get and f for failing to read past the headline or just not understanding what you read

      • castnbash

        in case you have not a clue ( and most of us realize you do not ) this man had already CONFESSED , later to recant and gets some friends to give him an alibi …. innocent men do not confess to murder and then change their mind later … innocent men do not confess !!

      • castnbash

        oh so your telling us that it is impossible for multiple people to be guilty in a murder ? ? ? ? ? and your calling us stupid , laughable ………………

      • poop

        No not at all but someone else plead guilty to the crime and said this person was not involed plus conflicting statements about if this person was even there in the first place.

      • johnny69

        The police obviously had a very weak case this is how it is supposed to work, if there is the SLIGHTEST chance that you may be not guillty (beyond reasonable doubt) then you go free. I think that he was probably guilty but the police are too busy giving tickets to unsuspecting out of towners who park at meters on a saturday… thinking that weekends would be free in order to entice folks to spend money in the city

  • J Jenkins

    What kind of sentence did the brother get for bringing gang violence to his home? Other stories i’ve read on this indicate that Gist said from the beginning Wilson was not involved, yet Gist pled guilty for himself. Seems like reasonable doubt for wilson is what the judge ruled along with multiple alibis the judge found credible. Maybe I missed something, but that’s the way it is supposed to work. Or do the plaintiffs want to see hundreds more innocent men in jail, only to be exonerated 20 to 25 years later.

    • poop

      and i thot i was the only one to read passed the headline before posting.
      Just goes to show thatpeople are stupid

      • superfine

        You got big ones calling others stupid. You should use spell check before you post. THOT????? Get a dictionary dummy!!

  • Kindman60

    Just goes to show how our JUSTICE SYSTEM DOES NOT WORK PERIOD!!!!!!! One goes free and another makes a deal while a sweet 12 yr old lies alone and in deep sleep in a box under 6ft of dirt while the ones in fault walk the earth without a worry………..yep works real good doesn’t it ??????????????????????????????

  • Toni J

    I saw this on the news yesterday and it broke my heart. The innocent person the sweet young lady who didn’t have a chance at life is gone and one who leads a life of crime still walks free. My thoughts and prayers are with the family I pray somehow they can come to peace what has happened.

  • Thomas J Duttine

    Don’t know how that judge can sleep at night.

    • Donna

      You are being stupid. We do have laws to protect the innocent. 3 witnesses placed Mr. Wilson elsewhere, while only 1 witness placed him at the scene. Everybody knows witness statements are, for the most part, unreliable. There isn’t anybody that can be 100% sure of what they saw when guns are blazing.

      Judge Manning is one of our best criminal judges. He has to rule on the given evidence. To anybody that knows the law, there wasn’t enough for a conviction here.

      • castnbash

        witnesses ? ? ? you mean 3 friends …… bottom line you do not confess to things you did not do … he had confessed then retracted it and produced purgers to try and help clear him …. the judge is / was a fool ………..

      • william

        Are you kidding me with the Judge Manning is one of our best criminal judges. The Pittsburgh’s justice system has been called into question on numerous occasions by the federal government. If there wasn’t enough evidence thats fine but people have been convicted on way less in Pittsburgh .

        Remember when the law is not applied to all citizens equally people will almost always lose respect for the law. Lets hope that before President Obama leaves office that the Department of Justice takes a long hard look at the Pittsburgh Justice system

      • cave

        @castnbash, did u know that the police questioned/beat him for 8 hours? did u know that the only person who said that she saw him said that it looked like somebody with the same structure as him? did u u know that she was on the other end of the block? did u know that the block only had 1 street light on each end of the block?1 on the brighton rd. side and one on the charles st. side?he tone bone is a very good friend of mine and if he did do it i wouldnt be on here sayin anything but he truely didnt do it !! just because he got arrested doesnt mean that he did it. the only thing the police didnt do was waterboard him. and just in case your wandering he is doing fine italked to last night when he got out.

      • johnny69

        Wasn’t judge manning the one that was arrested at the airport for screaming racial insults at a lady security person about 6 years ago????

  • Dana

    It’s not the first time this judge has been at the center of controversial issues.

  • Janet Collar

    It appears the timing of the acquittal was alot of salt in a fresh wound. My heart goes out to the family for the loss of their daughter. Perhaps this will turn the older brother in the right direction.

  • castnbash

    once again the system fails the victim

  • Frank

    The man confesses, then parades a bunch alibies………Justice-I think not. Fool judge- I think so.

    • hmmmm

      another man confessed to this crime, not the individual in this particular case. not only had Gist, who both confessed AND was convicted, make statements that Wilson had NOT been involved, but additional witnesses, friends or not, testified that Wilson was in another location at the same time of the shootings.

      i’m sure if you were the one wrongfully charged with a crime such as this, you would hope your “friends” were found credible by a judge or jury.

      • castnbash

        hmmmmmm this ….. he confessed too and then changed his mind once some friends said hey man we got your back ………

  • johnny69

    As much as I hate to say this, I read about this case and it seemed to me that the case against this guy was very weak from the beginning and I wa sure he would walk. Now, the family ilives there and I am sure the streets are talking about who did it,, and their reaction to it tells me that everyone on the streets KNOWS that he did it…sad.

  • Lisa

    My heart goes out to this family but I do believe that they should also be looking at the brother with their anger for bringing the gang violence near their daughter, niece and family member. Does he not bear any responsibility in this at all??? I don’t hear them mention him in this at all. I think he certainly should bear some responsibility as well as the shooter or shooters.

  • howie

    fact: these two families are part of the same gang.

  • The Truth

    Judge Manning is a fair man to say the least. He heard the evidence presented. Did the prosecutor prove his/her case beyond a reasonable doubt? Not in the eyes of the Judge. And yes this young girls Brother is just as responsible for being involved with the gangs. And did the Mother not know of her son’s gang involvement? If not she should have. Know who is in your house and what they do. So sad this young girl had to pay the ultimate price for the stupidity of others.

  • s

    “god know the truth”. and she is the leader of a organization. English people English not Ebonics

  • h- loc

    free tone bone bought time

  • JAUN


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