Houston & Peach

Jury acquits Warner Robins man of 2012 shooting

PERRY -- A Houston County jury acquitted a Warner Robins man Wednesday of all charges against him in a November 2012 shooting.

After deliberating for about three hours between late Tuesday afternoon and early Wednesday, jurors found Andre Marcel Allen not guilty of armed robbery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and possession of a firearm during a crime.

Allen was accused of shooting Benjamin Williams in a drug-related armed robbery in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Hidden Cove Drive in Warner Robins. Williams, who was shot in the shoulder, picked Allen out of a photograph lineup for police and testified against him during the trial in Superior Court before Judge Katherine K. Lumsden.

Allen denied shooting Williams.

“Mr. Williams has been dishonest about this from the beginning,” Allen’s court-appointed attorney David Daniell of Warner Robins told jurors during opening arguments Tuesday. “Mr. Allen is not guilty, and the evidence is going to prove that.”

During Williams’ testimony, Daniell questioned him about text messages recovered from his cellphone in which Williams was asked about types of marijuana and quoted prices in some of the responses.

Williams testified that he never sold drugs but knew how to find marijuana. Williams, who alleged Allen robbed him when he was buying marijuana from Allen, was not charged in connection with the incident.

Arguing that there were no witnesses and no other evidence against Allen, Daniell told jurors the case against him was based only on Williams. Daniell said the case would come down to who was the most credible: Allen or Williams.

Allen was visibly relieved when the verdict was announced. After jurors were dismissed, he hugged his mom, who broke down in tears.

Daniell said he had no other comment except, “We’re pleased with the verdict.”

Prosecutor Dan Bibler said, “It was a well tried case, and we certainly respect the jury’s verdict.”