An Oakland man who has spent the last five years in jail was let free on Monday following three mistrials with deadlocked juries, the last of which ended in October.
31-year-old Kyle Puckett was accused of shooting two men on October 15, 2011 outside an apartment complex on the 1300 block of MacArthur Boulevard in what was described as a drug deal gone bad. He was arrested for the double murder in 2015, and prosecutors took Puckett to trial three times, as KPIX reports, and today the charges against him were dropped. He is being released to go home to his wife, daughter, and mother.
Puckett's attorney, Ernie Castillo, tells KPIX that Puckett's release is "the sweetest victory of [his] career."
Puckett and an accomplice, Deshawn Rico, were both believed to have been responsible in the shooting deaths of 20-year-old Raymond Greenwood of Oroville, and 22-year-old Joshua Crouseite of Fairfield. The pair of victims reportedly were in Oakland trying to sell a suitcase of marijuana, and prosecutors contended that they were shot because Rico and Puckett intended to steal the drugs from them.
Rico pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in 2016, and he is serving an 11-year prison sentence. Puckett's first trial in 2016 ended in a jury deadlocked 8-4 in favor of acquittal. A second trial ended with the jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of conviction. The third jury in 2019 deadlocked 6-6 on the charge of first-degree murder and 7-5 on a charge of second-degree murder. Castillo maintained, and some jurors obviously agreed, that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Puckett pulled the trigger, and he maintained his innocence throughout his imprisonment.