- Associated Press - Friday, June 30, 2017

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - Jurors have acquitted a Massachusetts man accused of murder in a 2003 shooting.

The Telegram and Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/2t8mRh5 ) a jury found 34-year-old Giovanni Rivera, of Dorchester, not guilty of first-degree felony murder in the death of 23-year-old Christian Perez in Fitchberg.

Prosecutors had alledged that Perez was shot while Rivera and four other men were trying to steal drugs from him. Police say they found Rivera, Tony Acrum, Tyrone Strong and Giovanni Rivera’s brother, Mitchell Rivera, in a vehicle with three loaded guns, cocaine and Perez’s personal belongings.

Ancrum was acquitted of murder in September. Strong was found guilty of first-degree murder in June. Mitchell Rivera’s case was dismissed in February.

Giovanni Rivera’s attorney, David Larsen, says his client is an innocent man who has his life back.

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Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), https://www.telegram.com

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