PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Jurors acquitted a man of double murder Wednesday, and the victims’ families spoke exclusively to KDKA.
Josh Huber admitted to shooting Melissa Zuk and Derek Schindler at an apartment in Etna last April, but he claimed it was self-defense.
Huber says he was attacked and opened fire to protect himself.
“It’s unbelievable. How can you kill two unarmed people and get away with it?” Elise Schindler, Derek Schindler’s mother, said.
Elise Schindler and Judy DeSantis, Melissa Zuk’s mother, are mourning the loss of their children.
“She was unarmed. She was 22 years old,” DeSantis said. “She wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
Melissa and Derek were shot to death in an apartment in Etna by Huber.
While the prosecution called it murder, the defense called it self-defense, and a jury agreed, finding Huber not guilty and leaving the victims’ families wondering why.
“To know that someone could kill, murder, two innocent, great people and he’s walking free…” Emily Dailey, Derek’s sister, said.
Police say there were drugs involved, and the trio was fighting before the fatal shots, Huber telling authorities he pulled the trigger to defend himself.
On Tuesday, the jury was deadlocked, but the judge told them to keep trying. Three hours later, six jurors had changed their mind.
“I’m just blown away by the decision that came back and truly surprised that how quickly we could sway from a 50/50 split to a not guilty verdict,” Chris Zuk, Melissa’s brother, said.
Melissa’s mother says Huber may be free for now…
“There’s a bigger judge than the judge and jury on Earth,” DeSantis said. “God will judge Josh when he gets to Heaven, so he’s not off free.”
After the verdict, the attorney for Huber called the deaths tragic and offered sympathy to the families.