Tyrone Chaires walked out of the Rensselaer County Court a free man today, more than eight months after he was accused of fatally shooting a Troy man in the head as part of a gangland hit.
The 25-year-old nephew of Schenectady Police Chief Mark Chaires was acquitted on the second-degree murder charge that has kept him in jail without bail since he surrendered to police in November. Jurors deliberated for nearly 12 hours Wednesday and Thursday before reaching a verdict.
Defense attorney Terence Kindlon acknowledged the trial was difficult, but said key testimony from a pair of older witnesses unaffiliated with gangs was enough to cause doubt among the jurors. He said Mitchell Evers and James Tinger both fingered a different man — Devin “D” Woods — for the killing of Jimmy Chapman on a South Troy street corner Oct. 13, 2009.
Rensselaer County District Attorney Richard McNally was dismayed by the verdict, but understood how jurors could find doubt in the case. Many of the prosecution’s witnesses were members of the Bloods gang, involved in the case, or both.
McNally said it’s “not likely” another person will be charged with Chapman’s killing and remains certain he prosecuted the triggerman in the crime.
Chapman, 29, was found lying on a sidewalk at Harrison and Second streets after apparently being shot in the back of the head. He was brought to Albany Medical Center, where he died less than a day later.
During his trial, prosecutors asserted Chaires shot Chapman with a .22-caliber pistol as part of a hit ordered by the Bloods. They said Chaires, who was described as a low-level member of the gang, used the shooting to gain credibility.
But Kindlon argued Chaires was set up by higher-ranking gang members. After the shooting, he said it was Woods who disposed of the pistol by driving to Bridgeport, Conn., and dropping it into shallow water beneath a bridge.
Kindlon characterized Chaires, who did not testify at the trial, as a good person who “got caught up in the wrong crowd.” He said Chaires was trying to distance himself from that crowd ever since being fingered by the gang.
Categories: Schenectady County