A jury in Oklahoma County deliberated less than two hours Friday before acquitting a man of murder in the fatal shooting of his cousin during an attempted robbery.
Geary Lynn Birdine, 34, of Oklahoma City, was charged with first-degree murder in the March 30, 2011, death of Christopher Bryan Robinson, 25, outside a residence in the 2600 block of SW 38.
Prosecutors alleged Robinson, Birdine and a third man intended to rob Mexican drug dealers of a kilogram of cocaine valued at $28,000 when Robinson was killed during a gunfight.
Birdine was accused of firing at least 11 shots from an assault rifle toward a duplex on SW 38, near the corner of Villa Place. Witnesses, however, could not identify him as the shooter.
Robinson died behind the wheel of a car parked in the driveway of the residence. Prosecutors allege co-defendant Willie Jerome Boyd fired shots from the same car then fled the scene and was picked up by Birdine a short time later in the 2500 block of SW 36.
Boyd, 35, refused to testify against Birdine. Boyd is awaiting trial.
Birdine smiled as he walked out of District Judge Ray C. Elliott's courtroom, but declined to comment.
Birdine's attorney, William Campbell, said prosecutors didn't have enough evidence to win a conviction.
“The jury looked at the evidence and did what they had to do and found him not guilty,” Campbell said.
Jurors, who deliberated for about 90 minutes, would not discuss their verdict.
Prosecutors expressed disappointment, but declined further comment.
It was not the first time Birdine faced a murder charge and prevailed.
In January 2002, prosecutors dismissed first-degree murder charges against Birdine in the July 1999 robbery and slaying of two people, court records show.
The charges were dropped after a judge ruled a convicted co-defendant in the case didn't have to testify in Birdine's trial.
Co-defendant shuns deal
A man facing two possible life sentences rejected a plea offer this week by refusing to testify against a co-
Oklahoma County prosecutors had offered a 20-year prison sentence to Willie Jerome Boyd, 35, of Oklahoma City, in exchange for his testimony in the trial of Geary Lynn Birdine.
Birdine, 34, of Oklahoma City, was acquitted by a jury Friday of first-
Boyd also is a defendant in a drug trafficking case and faces life in prison if convicted, Assistant District Attorney Dan Gridley told the judge in the murder case Thursday.
Boyd is awaiting trial in both cases.
Gridley said he wanted Boyd to be aware of the “consequences” of refusing to take the witness stand after previously agreeing to do so.
Gridley declined to comment about the outcome of Birdine's trial.