Chaos broke loose in an Cleveland, Ohio, courtroom after the mother of a homicide victim lunged at Simone Biles’ older brother, Tevin Biles-Thomas, after he was acquitted in a triple murder case, multiple news outlets reported.
On Tuesday, June 15, following a ruling from Judge Joan Synenberg in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, a woman — a mother of one of the victims — stood up and lunged towards the Biles-Thomas screaming, “He killed my baby. You know he killed my baby. You have to be f-cking kidding me.” The emotional moment was captured and published by WEWS. The woman added, “I’m going to kill you.” Police officers were able to restrain the woman before she was able to reach the U.S. Army soldier. The Cuyahoga County court confirmed the news in a statement, revealing that “a person in the gallery charged toward the defendant” after the ruling. The court thanked the sheriff’s department for their assistance in the incident.
Biles-Thomas was acquitted on all 15 charges, including multiple counts of murder, felonious assault, and voluntary manslaughter, after judge Synenberg concluded that prosecutors did not have sufficient evidence to convict the young man. The 26-year-old was at the scene of a 2018 incident that left three men, Delvante Johnson — son of the mother in question — Toshaun Banks, and Biles-Thomas’ cousin, Devaughn Gibson, dead following an altercation at a New Year’s Eve party at an Airbnb in Cleveland. The men were 19, 21, and 23 years old, respectively. Prosecutors accused Biles-Tomas of gunning down Johnson and Banks after Johnson killed Gibson in a dispute that broke out after Johnson and Banks crashed the party.
The judge noted in her ruling that “In viewing the evidence in light most favorable to the state, it is insufficient to sustain a conviction. The motion is granted as to all counts. Ladies and gentlemen, this matter has been drawn to a conclusion. I thank everyone for their effort, and my heart goes out to the families of the victims.”
Out of the 18 witnesses prosecutors called in the case, only one woman was able to make any kind of identification, who admitted that she couldn’t completely remember what the shooter was wearing at the time of the crime. “Her best recollection of the shooter’s clothing is 75% accurate, a far cry from the compelling, persuasive evidence one would expect in a matter so tragic and serious,” Synenberg added.
Meanwhile, Biles-Thomas’ defense attorneys were very understanding of the heartbreaking moment, with Joseph Patituce telling the Daily News, “She lost a son, so we don’t fault her for reacting the way she did. I can’t imagine the amount of loss she suffered. But Tevin had nothing to do with it.” The attorney added, “There was only one person sitting at the defense table accused of this crime. I think she probably trusted that the government had it right. But she didn’t see the evidence. I don’t fault her at all for mistakenly believing Mr. Biles was responsible. He wasn’t. That’s why we have trials.”
Biles-Thomas was arrested in September 2019. However, in his initial May 2020 trial, a judge declared a mistrial after jurors revealed that copies of legal briefs from the defense lawyer and prosecutors were a part of the evidence provided to them during the third day of deliberation.