Not guilty verdict in ‘tennis shoe murder’

New Britain police booking photo of Jonathan Gibbs, June 17, 2013.
New Britain police booking photo of Jonathan Gibbs, June 17, 2013.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH)- A man accused of killing a shoe thief has been cleared of all charges.

John Gibbs, 27, also known as the “Tennis Shoe Murder” or “The Nike Murder Case” was cleared of murder and all other charges today by a jury. The jury found that his sworn confession and videotaped statement that he fired the gun that killed the thief, inadequate for conviction.

Back on the day after Father’s Day in 2013, Gibbs went with his uncle to New Britain to sell a pair of Nike tennis shoes to a man he met online. According to Gibbs, the meeting turned out to be a trap to rob him. His uncle ended up firing a warning shot to get the thieves away, the shot ended up killing the suspect. According to Gibbs, neither he nor his uncle knew the man had been killed. Later Gibbs told police he had been the one to shoot the gun, before he knew of the death of the suspect.

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