JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A verdict has been reached in the Charleston Wells trial; the jury has acquitted him of the murder charge in the death of Hoover father and Iraq war veteran Mike Gilotti.
Wells was still found guilty on nine charges of unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle.
Judge David Carpenter revoked Wells’ bond until his sentencing, which is set for July 18.
Wells family high-fived and thanked God as they left the Jefferson County courthouse, while staff with the Office of the District Attorney comforted the Gilotti family as they left the court room.
“Charleston Wells killed Mike Gilotti,” said Assistant District Attorney Lane Tolbert, who prosecuted the case. “A jury’s verdict doesn’t change the facts.”
Gilotti was shot and killed in front of his home in Hoover’s Lake Cyrus community in January, 2016, while Wells and his friends, admittedly, were breaking into cars.
Of the four teens accused in the murder, Tolbert maintains that Wells was the one who pulled the trigger.
“All four of them are responsible for it. Each of them had different parts of it,” Tolbert said. “They’re all breaking into cars leading up to Mike’s murder. All aiding and abetting in this. Their guilt is to different degrees, but Alabama doesn’t recognize guilt to different degrees.”
“There wasn’t a print, any DNA, any trace evidence, anything linking him to the murder weapon,” said Charles Salvagio, one of Wells’ attorneys. “I think he just came across as a kid that just wasn’t lying. He wasn’t lying.”
Of the three remaining suspects, two are seeking youthful offender status. One of the two testified against Wells during the trial, and Tolbert confirmed that he’d been given some sort of deal.
Ahmad Johnson is set for trial in June.
Tolbert said the outcome of the Wells trial should not be admissible in Johnson’s trial.
“Ahmad Johnson, according to the facts, got out of the car with the gun ready — aid and abet,” Tolbert said. “Assuming the law is followed, he’ll be found guilty.”
Wells was the only witness to testify for the defense. During his testimony, he said Johnson was the one who fired the shot that killed Gilotti.