Philadelphia police hunt for murder suspect previously exonerated from 2012 murder conviction
The Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) is searching for a suspect in a recent shooting who was previously convicted of murder and served eight years in prison before being exonerated last year, according to local reports.
Jahmir Harris, 33, is wanted in connection to a Sept. 5 shooting at about 2 a.m. on the 1700 block of North 56th Street that left a 50-year-old man, Charles Gossett, dead after a bullet struck him in the back of his head, according to FOX 29 Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to Harris’ whereabouts.
Prosecutors previously convicted Harris of first-degree murder for fatally shooting Louis Porter, 45, on Dec. 23, 2012, in a Walgreens parking lot.
Harris served eight years in prison before he was exonerated in 2021after his lawyer asked Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner to re-examine the case.
The DA’s office told FOX 29 that the convicted shooter’s “constitutional rights had been violated at the time of his prosecution because information implicating another individual as the likely shooter had not been turned over to the defense council.”
The DA’s Conviction Integrity Unit said in a 2021 objection that the results of the city’s investigation into the 2012 shooting were “simple.”
“Harris did not shoot Porter. Harris did not participate in the shooting death of Porter. In fact, shortly after Porter was shot, law enforcement had strong evidence implicating A.J. as the lone shooter,” the CIU’s objection said, according to the Michigan State University College of Law.
Judge Rose Marie de Fino Nastasi criticized the decision to exonerate Harris at the time.
“This court wonders how the commonwealth felt confident in releasing a murder suspect from prison when the commonwealth said one page earlier that the criminal investigation in this matter was still ongoing,” the judge said during a 2021 hearing, according to a transcript obtained by FOX 29.
The suspect’s vehicle is described as a black, two-door 2008-2015 Honda Accord.
Philadelphia authorities are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact 215-686-TIPS (8477) or text a tip to (215-686-TIPS (8477). Tipsters can also submit information directly to Det. Campbell at 215-686-3334 ext. 3335.