CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Five bounty hunters have been found not guilty after a man was mistakenly shot to death in Tennessee, the Leaf-Chronicle reports.
Jalen Johnson Milan, 24, a father of three children, was killed April 23, 2017 when bounty hunters were looking for another vehicle and mistakenly shot a vehicle Johnson Milan was in, police and prosecutors say.
The five defendants on trial were as follows:
- William Byles II, 32, of Clarksville.
- Antwon Keesee, 33, of Clarksville.
- Roger West Jr., 32, of Clarksville.
- Joshua Young, 28, all of Clarksville
- Prentice Williams, of Central City, Kentucky.
Each one faced 16 charges, including first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.
Young was charged and convicted of reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, but the defendants were found not guilty on all other counts.
Seven bounty hunters were charged overall, but two of them, Jonathan Schnepp Jr., 33, and Kenneth Chiasson, 40, exchanged their testimony for plea deals with prosecutors.
Prosecutors made the case that the bounty hunters were attempting to catch a man who had jumped bond, William Ellis, by setting up a drug deal with an informant, but they ended up confronting Johnson Milan and three other men in a Walmart parking lot.
They opened fire when the vehicle Johnson Milan was in drove away, prosecutors said. The driver was shot in the neck and survived.
Defense attorneys argued their clients didn’t know their intended target wasn’t in the same vehicle as Johnson Milan and were acting in self-defense since the car hit several bounty hunters when it sped off.
Defense attorneys also said multiple bounty hunters saw a person with a gun in the vehicle and they returned fire when they thought they were being fired at.
The lawsuit says no one in the same vehicle as Johnson Milan was armed or wanted on any outstanding charges.