Philadelphia Murder Case – Judgment of Acquittal Granted, Case Dismissed

Earlier this month, firm partner and top rated Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer David S. Nenner won a homicide case where his client was accused of murder. Mr. Nenner also represented Timmons’ co-defendant, Kevin Prince. In Prince’s case, Mr. Nenner helped free his client from jail.


Prince, who was 27 years old, was wrongly accused of a murder he did not commit.  Mr. Nenner’s client was one of the 3 defendants charged with the shooting of Nafis Owens.  At the time of the shooting, Prince was four miles away at a bar watching a boxing match.  Prince’s name never came up in the investigation after the shooting.  He was arrested eight months after the shooting when Mikel Smith, a federal defendant awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to four armed robberies, contacted the Philadelphia DA’s office from his jail cell, saying he had information about the shooting.  Due to Mr. Nenner’s investigation, research and efforts, he was able to help free his client from jail prior to trial in March 2017.  Prince was in jail for 17 months.  See Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer Helps Man Wrongly Accused of Murder.


After Prince was released from jail, the other 2 defendants, Tariq Timmons and Shaquille Rainey were on trial for third degree murder of Owens, and they were charged as conspirators to the shooting of Owens.  At trial, the prosecution provided a second videotaped statement given by one of the defendants, which was never provided to the defense attorneys.  Because of this, the judge declared a mistrial. A mistrial does not mean the trial is over.  It simply means that the criminal case starts all over.

After the mistrial, Tariq Timmons hired Mr. Nenner to defend him in the murder trial.  Again, through his investigation and tireless efforts, Mr. Nenner was able to show that the Commonwealth failed to arrest the actual shooter Keahn Morrison, who was Owens’ companion on the night of the shooting.


Prior to Owens being shot, Owens and his companion Morrison had committed two gun point robberies.  The first individual robbed was Shawn Timmons, the defendant Tariq Timmons’s brother and defendant Shaquille Rainey’s stepbrother.  The second individual robbed was an employee, Eddie Slater, at the Last Chance Lounge located at 18th and Girard Streets in Philadelphia.  During the second robbery, Morrison had a 9mm Glock pointed at Slater’s chest while Owens went in Slater’s pockets and robbed him.  Slater was also a witness to the shooting later.

After Owens and Morrison left the bar, Rainey saw Owens and approached Owens to talk to him as to why he would rob his brother Shawn Timmons because they grew up together.  However, they began arguing.  Timmons came over and pulled Owens away from Rainey.  Timmons and Rainey did not see Morrison who pulled out a gun and a gun fight ensued.  As a result, Owens was shot by Morrison in the gunfire by 9mm Glock bullets.  See a detailed discussion of the Philadelphia homicide case here.


In this case, Mr. Nenner believes that the police conducted a subpar investigation.  One of the things that stood out to Mr. Nenner was that at no point did the police acknowledge that Owens had an accomplice.  The prosecution argued that Prince was the shooter and Timmons and Rainey were co-conspirators.

There were numerous red flags with the witness (Smith) who identified Prince as the shooter 8 months after the shooting; however, the police ignored them.  The federal witness was awaiting sentencing and trying to make a deal on his own case.  In addition, he claimed that he saw Prince shoot Owens while he was waiting for a trolley at a location that is three blocks from the shooting at 10:30pm, which is impossible.

Also, the police failed to investigate Slater, a key witness. On the night of the shooting, Slater had been held up at gunpoint, with a 9mm Glock by Owens and his companion, Morrison. Slater also witnessed the shooting of Owens later.

Slater was interviewed by homicide detectives one day after the shooting. Slater told homicide detectives that there were two shooters, one of which was Rainey who he knew his entire life. The second shooter was the same male who put a 9mm Glock to his chest while Owens robbed him. Slater gave a physical description which was both detailed and consistent with Morrison.  By watching the videos and reading the statements given by Slater, Timmons and Rainey to homicide detectives, it should have been obvious to homicide detectives that the person brandishing the 9mm Glock was associated with Owens rather than with Timmons and Rainey.

Mr. Nenner also hired an investigator who showed Slater photos of individuals including one of Morrison.  Without hesitation Slater identified Morrison as the individual with Owens who had robbed him with the 9mm Glock and had subsequently approached Timmons and Rainey with a 9mm attempting to shoot Timmons.

At the time of the trial, Morrison was in jail serving 8 to 16 years for two other shootings occurring after the shooting of Owens.  Mr. Nenner had Morrison brought out of the cell room at trial so Slater could identify him, which he did.  At the end of the prosecution’s case, Mr. Nenner made a motion for a judgment of acquittal on all charges, which is a motion made when the evidence presented simply does not meet the prosecution’s burden to prove the case.  The judge granted Mr. Nenner’s motion.


Mr. Nenner believes in justice and fighting for his clients.  He is passionate about helping his clients who have been wrongly accused due to subpar investigations.  Unlike other criminal defense lawyers, Mr. Nenner offers a FREE initial consultation.  If you or a loved one was wrongly accused of a crime such as murder, call Mr. Nenner to schedule a consultation. (215) 515-0042

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