facebook
twitter
search
search

Man not guilty of killing 5 teens in 1978

Nov. 23, 2011 at 1:56 PM

NEWARK, N.J., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- A New Jersey man was acquitted Wednesday of killing five teenagers who vanished in 1978.

Lee Anthony Evans, 58, was acquitted by jurors who deliberated for more than 12 hours, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported. Deliberations began Friday.

Evans' cousin, Philander Hampton, who pleaded guilty to felony murder and testified for the prosecution, said the boys were lured to an empty house in Newark and locked in a closet. Hampton said Evans then doused the house with gasoline and set it on fire.

Hampton said Evans was angry because the teens, Michael McDowell, Randy Johnson and Alvin Turner, all 16, and Melvin Pittman and Ernest Taylor, both 17, had stolen marijuana from him. Their bodies were never found.

Relatives testified the last time they saw the boys they were in the back of Evans' pickup truck. He sometimes hired them to do odd jobs.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Texas man killed in apparent alligator attack
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm