Steve Townsend addresses the lack of evidence in this case.
BEAVER, Pa. —
Eighteen-year-old Nasean Hunt will stand trial in what authorities have described as the execution-style killing of 15-year-old Asaun Moreland one month ago in Ambridge, Beaver County.
In a preliminary hearing Wednesday, the prosecution presented five witnesses, including two eyewitnesses to the killing. The defense tried but failed to convince District Judge Eileen Conroy there wasn’t enough to hold the defendant for trial.
On July 9, Moreland was shot several times by two figures wearing hoodies and dressed in dark clothing. It happened on Church Street near the Ambridge library.
Moreland’s family was in the courtroom to hear the testimony and the decision.
“We’re just grateful, and our nephew, my brother’s son, my mother’s grandson, we are getting justice. We are getting justice., yes we are, and we are grateful, said Samantha Gibson, an aunt of the victim.
“It’s beyond a reasonable doubt, and justice will be served. yes it will, said Bambi Moreland, also an aunt of the victim.
Authorities have said Hunt was one of two shooters — including one unidentified and still at large — who shot and killed Moreland.
Witnesses testified Wednesday to hearing rapid gunfire that sounded like fireworks and then seeing two figures dressed in dark clothing, including hoodies, gunning down a third figure.
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None of them specifically identified Hunt, citing darkening conditions, and dark clothing, including hoodies and masks, worn by those who fired the shots.
One neighbor testified he followed the shooters while he was on the phone with 911 and saw one of them enter an apartment building.
Police testified to getting a warrant, searching that building, and finding Hunt — the only person who matched the clothing description.
Hunt’s defense attorney argued that there was no evidence actually linking Hunt directly to the crime.
“I think it’s a very thin case. I don’t think there’s anything that really ties my client to the scene, let alone the shooting. Other than the fact that he’s an individual, a Black individual, who had black clothing at the house. There’s nothing that tied him to this murder scene,” said attorney Steven Townsend.
“I would submit to you that you go downtown in Ambridge, look around and see what individuals are wearing. And about 80 percent of them are going to be wearing black hoodies and black sweat pants and some kind of tennis shoe,” Townsend said.