- A 19-year-old Southern California man who was acquitted of murder last year was arrested on suspicion of carjacking Tuesday night by the Los Angeles Police Department.
- Cameron Terrell was found not guilty of murder in July 2018 in the killing of 21-year-old Justin Holmes. Holmes was fatally shot in October 2017 by teenagers believed to be in a street gang who fled the scene in car Terrell was driving, prosecutors said.
- At the time, Terrell was a high-school student living in the wealthy Palos Verdes neighbourhood in Los Angeles. His case made headlines after his family posted his $US5 million bail.
- The LAPD told INSIDER in a statement that Terrell was arrested and is being held without bail until his court date, saying that “while investigating the murder, evidence was discovered by investigators for additional felony crimes.”
Last year, Cameron Terrell, a teenager from the wealthy Los Angeles neighbourhood of Palos Verde, was acquitted of the murder of 21-year-old Justin Holmes. But on Tuesday night, Terrell, who prosecutors believe has been involved with a Los Angeles street gang, was rearrested – this time on suspicion of carjacking, according to arrest records and his attorney, Jovan Blacknell.
Terrell was found not guilty of murder in July 2018 in the killing of Holmes. Prosecutors said that in October 2017, Terrell drove two gang-affiliated teenagers in a car registered to his father to rival territory where Holmes was walking with friends. The teenagers got out of the car and, after questioning Holmes and his friends about their gang affiliation, shot Holmes and ran back to the car, which Terrell drove away.
At the time, Terrell was a student at Palos Verdes High School. But prosecutors said he was also part of the street gang responsible for Holmes’ death. According to the Los Angeles Times, during the trial, prosecutors highlighted social-media posts in which Terrell can be seen making gang signs. Terrell also has a tattoo they said represents the gang.
He was arrested in October 2017 in connection with the killing but released a week later after his family posted the $US5 million bail, which required $US500,000, according to the Times. He initially planned to return to Palos Verdes High School, but parents of Terrell’s classmates complained.
A group of parents sent a letter to the school board that said, “At worst, most law enforcement officers would say that allowing an 18-year-old gang member suspected of a felony to attend a high school presents a clear and present danger to other students.”
Terrell, now 19, completed his schooling off campus. After he was acquitted, his attorney said Terrell planned to attend the University of Houston.
Cameron Terrell is the rich white teen who was acquitted of a gang murder last year. Tonight, he’s back in LAPD custody. https://t.co/V46wqVWhzv
— Cerise Castle (@cerisecastle) March 14, 2019
In a statement provided to INSIDER, the Los Angeles Police Department said Terrell is being held without bail until his court date. The police said that “while investigating the murder, evidence was discovered by investigators for additional felony crimes.”
They added that “due to the dates of those incidents, they could not be charged concurrently” with the murder case. Terrell was a juvenile when the other felony crimes he is accused of occurred.
Blacknell, Terrell’s attorney, told the Times he believes the police were intentionally targeting his client. “When the homicide did not stick, they tried to find something else,” Blacknell said. “His arrest was intentionally done by surprise on his spring break to interrupt his schooling.”
After Terrell’s acquittal, Blacknell told the Times that prosecutors didn’t have much tangible evidence outside of social media, saying Terrell “did not possess any weapons, he did not shoot anybody, he was not part of any conspiracy or any plan or plot to commit any crimes.” Blackwell did acknowledge that Terrell had admitted to being the driver.
The Times reported that Holmes’ family has since filed a wrongful-death suit against Terrell and his family.
“I want to say rest in peace, Justin Holmes,” Terrell said after the July 2018 verdict, according to Fox 11. “You shouldn’t have died that day. I pray for his family every night.”
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