After a week-long trial in the Berks County Court of Common Pleas, Defendant, Armando Ortega, was found not guilty on all homicide and assault charges after a jury concluded that he was not present at the scene of a murder that happened in 2014. Ortega was charged a year ago with homicide in the first degree on the basis of someone who claimed to be an eye-witness. He spent a year in jail awaiting trial.
“We are elated at the outcome of Armando’s case and proud to have represented him,” said Attorney Joel Ready, who represented Ortega in the trial. “This vindication was a long time coming and we are happy to see him return home.” Ortega was able to go home after the trial to be with family. The five-day murder trial involved nearly a dozen witnesses regarding the eight-year-old incident and concluded with more than three hours of argument by the attorneys involved.
Homicide charges come in several different varieties, ranging from first to third degree. Ortega was charged with first and third degree homicide as well as assault charges. First degree homicide carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison, and the assault charges would have carried sentences ranging across the spectrum. Ortega was found not guilty on all of them.
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