Top Rated Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Wins a Philadelphia Homicide Case – Facts of Commonwealth v. Tariq Timmons

Philadelphia criminal lawyer and firm partner, David S. Nenner, recently won a murder homicide case for his client.  Mr. Nenner already helped one of the defendants in the case, Kevin Prince, get released from jail after being wrongly accused of shooting the victim.  Prince was in jail for 17 months and Mr. Nenner worked tirelessly to help free his client.  After Prince was released from jail, the second defendant, Tariq Timmons, in the case asked Mr. Nenner to represent him.  Just last month, the court granted a judgment of acquittal on all charges.

The case highlights the issues in Philadelphia criminal cases.  First, arrests and charges are often based on subpar investigation by the police.  Second, the DA’s office’s failure to dismiss homicide cases that are fatally flawed.  For a discussion of these issues, see Another Win for Mr. Nenner in a Philadelphia Homicide Case.

This article details all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the case below.


On November 8, 2014, victim Nafis Owens was shot at the Last Chance bar located at 18th and Girard streets in Philadelphia.  Earlier that day, the victim Nafis Owens and his friend Keahn Morrison had allegedly committed two gun point robberies.  One of the victims of the gun point robberies was Shawn Timmons, the defendant Tariq Timmons’ brother.

Later that night, Owens and Morrison went to the Last Chance bar. There was a fish fry and benefit going on outside the bar. As a result, there was a large crowd both inside and outside the bar.

Owens and Morrison then allegedly committed the second gun point robbery after entering the bar.  One of the bar’s employees, Eddie Slater, was frying fish on the Girard side of the bar.  Morrison pulled a 9mm Glock out and pointed it to the chest of Slater, and Owens went into Slater’s pockets and stole his cash.

After robbing Slater, Owens and Morrison left the bar from the Girard Street exit and were walking toward 18th Street.  At that time, Tariq Timmons and his stepbrother Shaquille Rainey were going to the bar.  Shawn Timmons had already told Tariq Timmons and Shaquille Rainey that he was robbed earlier by Owens.  Timmons and Rainey had a hard time believing it because, other than Morrison, they all have known each other since they were little and grew up in the same section of Philadelphia.  They couldn’t understand why Owens would rob people from their neighborhood.

As Owens was walking up to 18th Street from Girard Street, Rainey saw him come around the corner and went to shake his hand to say “what’s up?”  Tariq Timmons was leaning against a car on 18th Street talking to people congregating on the street.  Neither Timmons nor Rainey knew that Owens had just robbed Slater inside the bar.

When Rainey put his hand out to shake Owens’ hand, Owens yelled some profanity toward him and stated out loud,  “Where is my gat?” (meaning gun).  Rainey responded by pulling out his 40 Caliber firearm and held it towards the ground and by his side.  Rainey legally owned his firearm and was licensed to carry it on the street.  Owens and Rainey got in an argument and got louder and louder.  Tariq Timmons heard the argument and walked over to them.  Tariq Timmons then pulled Owens from behind causing both of them to stumble into a parked van.  Rainey then put his gun away and walked toward Tariq and Owens.  Morrison, who had been observing the confrontation unbeknownst to Timmons and Rainey, approached them, pulled out his 9mm Glock, pushed Owens away and pointed the gun at Timmons’ head.  In response, Rainey pulled out his 40 caliber gun and a gunfight ensued.

Owens was struck twice with a 9mm caliber bullets and died at the scene.  The next day both Timmons and Rainey turned themselves into homicide detectives believing Rainey had accidentally killed Owens during the gunfight. Both gave homicide detectives full statements describing the incident above.  Video surveillance from the bar also showed Owens and another male walk in the bar before they robbed Slater.

Several months after the shooting, Malik Smith, a defendant who was charged with federal crimes told the police that he had information about the shooter and shooting.  Smith said he witnessed the shooting and that Kevin Prince, who is friends with Timmons, was the shooter.

Prince was subsequently charged and put in jail to await trial for a murder he did not commit.


Through Mr. Nenner’s tireless efforts to help Prince and Timmons, he had a heart to heart talk with the Smith, who admitted that he did not see the shooting and that Prince was not the shooter.  As a result, Prince was released from jail prior to trial.

At Timmons’ trial, Mr. Nenner was able to show that the victim had an accomplice (Morrison) that night, and Slater, the employee that was robbed at gunpoint, identified Morrison as the victim’s accomplice who held the 9mm Glock to his chest.

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 fights tirelessly for his clients.  He is passionate about helping individuals who have been accused of crimes.  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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