General Crime

* Diante Johnson Found Not Guilty in Murder of Marquez Benson in San Francisco

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A man accused in a 2009 fatal shooting in San Francisco’s Bayview District was acquitted of all charges last week, according to Public Defender Jeff Adachi.Diante Johnson, 22, a parolee who had been living in Daly City, was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service in September 2009 in Ogden, Utah, in connection with the shooting.

At about 9 a.m. on Aug. 27, 2009, police found the victim, 23-year-old Marquez Benson, lying on the sidewalk, covered in blood, near 8 Matthew Court. Benson later died at the hospital. Benson and a second man had been shot as they sat inside Benson’s parked car. The second victim said a man wearing a knit cap approached the car, took out a handgun and started shooting into the vehicle, according to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

Evidence presented at the nearly three-week trial raised questions about the gunman’s identity, according to Johnson’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Eric Quandt. At the preliminary hearing in January 2010, the surviving victim identified Johnson as the shooter, according to the district attorney’s office. Jurors deliberated for one day before reaching their verdict Thursday afternoon, finding Johnson not guilty of murder and attempted murder. Both charges carried gun enhancements.

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