An Ohio judge acquitted Tevin M. Biles-Thomas, brother of gold medal Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, of murder charges Tuesday, after she determined that prosecutors did not have enough evidence to convict him.
Biles-Thomas, 26, was accused of fatally shooting three men during a fight at a 2018 New Year’s Eve party at a Cleveland Airbnb. Delvante Johnson, 19; Toshaun Banks, 21; and Devaughn Gibson, 23, were killed in the incident.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Joan Synenberg granted a motion by Biles-Thomas’ attorneys to dismiss the case based on insufficient evidence. According to courtroom video of the ruling reported by local station WEWS, Synenberg said that a witness’ description of clothing worn by the shooter was “75 percent accurate at best.”
Joseph Patituce, one of Biles-Thomas’ defense attorneys, said that the state failed to prove its case, and that Synenberg’s ruling paid “incredible attention” to the evidence presented.
Biles-Thomas’ case was declared a mistrial in May, after all 12 jurors said they were inadvertently given legal briefs between prosecutors and Biles-Thomas’ legal team.
According to NBC News, after the ruling, a woman stood up and rushed toward Biles-Thomas, yelling, “You have to be f------ kidding me. I’m going to kill you.”
The Cuyahoga County court released a statement confirming that “a person in the gallery charged toward the defendant” after the ruling. The statement also thanked the sheriff’s department for its assistance.
Patituce identified the woman as Johnson’s mother. He said that Biles-Thomas’ legal team understood the pain for the families of the victims.
“We don’t fault the victim’s family. This was a horrible event,” Patituce said. “We don’t fault the victim’s family for acting out.”
Patituce also told CNN, "This was a horrible tragedy, three families lost three family members and you know, absolutely horrific. So, we understand emotions were running high. But today, Tevin Biles was vindicated, what he's waited to get for the last two and half years."
Photo: AP/Phil Long