ERIE, Pa. – It took eight months to make an arrest in the murders of Shakur Franklin and Elijah Jackson, both 16, and now an attorney is arguing that the wrong person may have been arrested after he discovered new evidence.
Attorney John Carlson believes the shooting may have been gang related and that Demond Mitchell, who is charged with murder, might have been mistaken for someone else.
Carlson states there is not physical or forensic evidence linking Mitchell to the crime.
Carlson said all they have is one eye witness who was either mistaken, confused or not being entirely truthful.
Police say a letterman jacket was found in the crashed car, with the name “Mitchell” on it, but it was confirmed not to be his jacket.
In the motion Carlson said witness interviews state it was a gang involved, retaliatory shooting and that police found evidence that another man, named Tykeem Craig, was involved.
“His fingerprints were found on the vehicle that crashed,” Carlson said. “There is a strong similarity between Demond Mitchell and the person that we believe was involved with this.”
According to Mary Kirkland, Franklin’s mother, she called police three times during the investigation to notify them about this other man.
“I just heard from the door that Tykeem Craig had something to do with it,” Kirkland said. “It is just crazy that he is still walking around here and to this day I still feel deeply that he had something to do with my son and Vanessa’s son’s death.”
“They are defending their clients and that is what they are supposed to do and they are doing it well and obviously we arrested these individuals that we believe we have enough evidence to prove committed these crimes,” Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri said.
Mitchell has filed an alibi with the court and Carlson is asking for more information on the investigation into this other man.
Jackson and Franklin were shot and killed July 24, 2015 during a large house party near West 29th and Summit streets.