PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A verdict has been reached in the trial of the man accused in connection with the shooting death of a 12-year-old girl on Pittsburgh’s North Side.
Jolesa Barber was shot and killed in January of 2008. She was at her sister’s house in Perry South when someone fired more than 40 rounds at the home.
In court today, Anthony Wilson was found not guilty in connection with the shooting.
“I think that because the alibi witnesses had no reason to lie and because they had come forward so early and were so consistent in what they were saying about Anthony being with them at the time of the homicide, I think that played a huge role,” said Wendy Williams, the defense attorney. “No one likes to come to court, no one wants to testify in a gang murder, no one wants to help anyone who killed a child, but I think the fact that, and the judge commented on this, that these people would put themselves at risk to come to court to tell the truth.”
Wilson had confessed to police; however, his attorney said that he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, which put the confession in question.
His co-defendant, Michael Gist, 18, pleaded guilty and was sentenced today to 30 to 60 years in prison.
Gist’s mother apologized to the victim’s family in court this morning.
Barber’s mother also gave a victim impact statement today. She said that she wears something of her daughter’s everyday to remember her by.
The family left the court in tears after Wilson was found not guilty.
Today marks the three-year anniversary since Barber’s death. Her family and friends have a memorial planned in her remembrance.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.