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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Community members are speaking out after a former pizza shop manager was found not guilty of attacking a woman.
A group of protesters say it’s one more example of how the criminal justice system is failing some of its citizens. They say Mahmut Yilmaz got away with the brutal beating of Jade Martin.
Protesters came to the steps of the City County building to speak out against the verdict that found Yilmaz not guilty in the assault of Martin. They say cell phone video of the assault at Pizza Milano tells the story.
“How could a jury of people find Yilmaz not guilty when there is video evidence of her attack?” one protester said.
Yilmaz’s attorney, James DePasquale, says a 22-minute video shot before the assault captures the events that led up to the attack. He says Martin was drunk and belligerent, had been kicked out of a nearby bar and had two previous encounters with police.
DePasquale says his client asked Martin to leave once when she was outside the restaurant and another time when she came in. He convinced her to leave, but the third time, he says his client was frustrated and justified to grab her under a state law against trespassing.
“He was first justified in putting his hands on her. There’s no question of that under Pennsylvania law,” he said. “And then secondly, when they were on the floor and they fell to the floor and all that, any rational human being would have lost their patience with her. And that’s the way the jury saw it.”
The jury also came under fire; protesters questioned why it was all white.
“The District Attorney’s office should have done more to ensure a fair and balanced jury pool,” another protester said.
Yilmaz’s attorney says his client has since been fired and is having trouble finding a job. He’s also subject to a civil lawsuit by Jade Martin.