Pettaway acquitted, Williams jury recessed in Springfield Twp. m - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Pettaway acquitted, Williams jury recessed in Springfield Twp. murder trials

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Cameo Pettaway Cameo Pettaway
Samuel Williams Samuel Williams

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Cameo Pettaway has been acquitted of all charges in the Springfield Township double murder trial.

After the prosecution rested its case the defense made a motion to dismiss all charges, claiming the prosecution had not met the burden of proof to find Pettaway guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Judge James Bates agreed, saying there was not enough evidence to warrant the charges and that Pettaway cannot be charged again for the crime because jeopardy is attached to the case.

Pettaway was taken back to jail to be processed for release.

Pettaway and Samuel Williams were both charged in the murders of Johnny Clarke and Lisa Straub back in January 2011.

Closing arguments came Thursday in Williams' trial. The jury deliberated until 9 p.m. Thursday evening and will return Friday morning. The jurors are being sequestered and are unaware that Pettaway was acquitted. Williams faces the death penalty if convicted.

In Williams' trial Wednesday, investigators discussed DNA found at the scene, but stopped short of linking it to Williams or Pettaway. Detectives, DNA experts and the county coroner spoke in the case, however, no new evidence was introduced.

The state admitted most of its evidence was circumstantial. When the defense took the stand, it said the state had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Williams was responsible for the deaths, and it felt the state failed to do so.

During Pettaway's trial Tuesday, Clarke's father testified about finding the bodies. He recalled the evening saying, "the kids were tortured to death." He also admitted he tried CPR on the bodies before police arrived, possibly compromising the crime scene.

Many of the couple's friends testified about their habits, explaining that Clarke started to use drugs and owed people money.

Monday in court, Straub's parents took the stand against Pettaway and Williams. Prosecutors focused on a cigarette butt found near the bodies, since smoking was not allowed inside the home. They also said it had both Williams and Pettaway's DNA on it.

Bates said the cigarette butt was not enough proof because of its mobility, it could have been left behind days before the killings and it did not prove Pettaway took part in Clarke and Straub's murders.

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