Charged with Capital Murder when he was only 17 years old, JaTyrone Hollis opened up Monday about his dramatic acquittal.
On Friday, a Dallas County jury found Hollis not guilty on all charges, as his defense team called into question the investigation by Mesquite Police and the handling of the case by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
“The moment I heard the verdict I couldn’t even celebrate, it was so overwhelming,” Hollis said. “I’m happy to be out but I just can’t enjoy it the way I’m supposed to enjoy it.”
During the trial Hollis’ Defense team, made up of Dallas lawyers Ashkan Mehryari, Justin Moore and George Milner, poked holes in an alleged taped confession with Mesquite Police Department detectives.
“They were already convinced they knew who did it and they were just looking for a confession, they should have been looking at the evidence,” Attorney Ashkan Mehryari said.
Hollis was arrested in October of 2017 after 17-year-old Isaiah Jones was shot and killed. Mesquite Police, who have declined to comment on Hollis’ acquittal, honed in on him as their primary suspect.
“They developed this theory and confirmation bias ruled the day on that theory,” Attorney Justin Moore said.
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Hollis' acquittal is the first in a capital murder case in Dallas County in over a decade.
“It is the reality that a lot of people end up in situations and they are not going to have the means to be vindicated in a court of law,” Attorney George Milner said.
Before being set free Saturday, Hollis had spent the better part of three years behind bars.
“They say you are innocent until proven guilty, well from my understanding and my being in those shoes I was guilty until proven innocent,” he said.
The Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot released a statement to NBC 5 that said "Today, defense attorneys for JaTyrone Hollis, held a press conference in which they asserted their client had been improperly indicted by this office and alleged this administration acted in bad faith. That is untrue. In fact, Mr. Hollis was indicted on October 25, 2018. I did not take office until January 2019. His case was handled by the previous administration. Furthermore, two of the three trial attorneys are personal and professional friends of mine and none of them raised any concerns to me about improper prosecution. Of course, we always give the defendant the presumption of innocence and do not expect that someone will be found guilty of any crime, unless and until, we prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury decided we did not and we will not question their decision. Additionally, Saturday morning when I learned from George Milner, one of Mr. Hollis’ attorneys, that he was still in jail, I immediately contacted Sheriff Marian Brown. Sheriff Brown contacted Judge Holmes and Mr. Hollis was released later Saturday afternoon. Though our office played no role in Mr. Hollis remaining in jail, we sincerely apologize on behalf of Dallas County that he was not released after he was acquitted."