March 30, 2010

Man Found Not Guilty in Cyclists 2007 Murder

from WCCO:

After once being convicted in the 2007 murder of a Minneapolis bicyclist, Jamaal Freeman was found not guilty in Mark Loesch's death on Tuesday.

Loesch was killed in September 2007 while biking out late. Police said he was robbed and beaten to death.

His body was found the next morning on Elliot Avenue South. He left behind a wife and four children. He was 41 years old.

Freeman and Donald Jackson were arrested two months later. Jackson pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and became a key witness against Freeman.

He testified that Loesch came to him to buy drugs and that Jamaal Freeman lured him into a yard, killed him with a baseball bat and then robbed him. He was carrying $40.

Jackson was sentenced to six years in prison.

Freeman was originally convicted of second-degree murder last May, though the jury acquitted him of his first-degree murder charge.

Then in August, a judge granted a new trial after the Hennepin County Attorney's Office didn't turn over police notes in a timely manner.

The jury in Freeman's second trial was handed the case on Monday after Freeman himself took the stand. Freeman denied having anything to do with Loesch's death.

The jury deliberated for less than a day before arriving at their verdict.

This is a travesty of justice. I am deeply saddened by this news.