Teen accused of killing disabled veteran found not guilty

- After a jury declared a teenager not guilty in the murder of a 58-year-old disabled veteran, investigators tell FOX 5 the homicide cases will not be reopened and the real murderer of Randy Smith may never be sentenced in court.

Tuesday in Fulton County Superior Court, Tarik Vasquez was acquitted of all charges related to the death.
RELATED: Teen accused of murdering disabled veteran granted bond

On September 11, 2016, Smith was found shot in the head and his body stuffed in a trash can at his southwest Atlanta home and rental property.

The then-16-year-old was arrested and accused by Atlanta Police of pulling the trigger and committing the crime.

Atlanta Police released the following statement to FOX 5 Wednesday following the verdict:

"The investigation is not being reopened. We are confident we arrested the person responsible for this heinous crime."

The Fulton County District Attorney's Office also released the following statement Wednesday to FOX 5: The District Attorney does not plan to reopen this case. We believe Tarik Vasquez was responsible for the death of Randy Smith."

Vasquez's attorney said the family is pleased with the verdict, criticizing the evidence and witness testimonies.

"We have this good kid from a good family, with no motive, not a shred of evidence, no murder weapon, no DNA, nothing connecting him to this crime scene," attorney Tanya Miller said.  

Angela Smith, the wife of Randy Smith, spoke to FOX 5 and expressed her shock at the verdict. 

"If Tarik did not do it-- then who? I do not see my husband as an unsolved mystery. I sat in court and I saw the evidence," Angela Smith said, telling FOX 5 she was pleased with the hard work completed by the prosecution.

Smith said she is concerned that whoever was responsible for her husband's death may harm someone again.

  "The killer is on the loose," she said. This person is out in Atlanta-- walking around, looking for the next victim," she said.

Smith said she has created a 501-C3 in her husband's honor, and plans to create a non-profit to support families of homicide victims endure the heartache that comes from rigorous trials and court appearances. 

 

RELATED: Bond granted for teen murder suspect, then suspended

 

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