By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– Two men have been acquitted of the robbery and murder of an Iraq war veteran killed in West Philadelphia in 2006.
The 29-year-old victim, Jermaine Frazier, was killed while delivering pizza, one of several jobs he worked to support his then-infant child.
The prosecution’s case was based on the testimony of a woman, a cooperating witness who pleaded guilty to lesser charges, who admitted setting up the victim. She testified she was coerced by the defendants into calling for the pizza.
But the defense argued that she implicated these two men to protect a boyfriend, and the jury rejected the prosecution’s charges.
The victim’s parents, Marthena Frazier-Payne and Douglas Royal, reacted with dignity.
“We were looking for a guilty verdict, of course, but since we didn’t get a guilty verdict we have to live with what the jurors made a decision on,” Frazier-Payne said.
“I agree with her,” Royal added. “To think that it would go the other way… it didn’t. We have to live with it. Not saying we’re satisfied with it, but we have to live with it and deal with our loss.”
The family says Frazier also worked for the Philadelphia school district, helping troubled students.