Families question why suspect for murder in Parkside last month was exonerated for 2012 killing

Investigators say 32-year-old Jahmir Harris is wanted for the shooting death of a 50-year-old man on September 5, 2022.

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Friday, October 21, 2022
Man exonerated in 2012 murder arrested for September killing
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A man who was released from prison last year after being exonerated for a 2012 murder is now in police custody for his alleged involvement in a murder last month.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A man who was released from prison last year after being exonerated for a 2012 murder is now in police custody for his alleged involvement in a murder last month.

Jahmir Harris, 32, surrendered around 3 p.m. Friday, Philadelphia police said.

Police said he was a suspect in the murder of Charles Gossett on 56th Street on September 5th. Gossett was shot to death on the sidewalk and robbed.

Police released surveillance video that they say shows Harris at the scene.

"What kind of justice system is this?" asked Linda Cruz, Gossett's sister. "There is no justice for this."

Cruz held a small vigil for her brother Friday at the site where he was murdered near Lancaster Avenue. Her family blames the district attorney's office for releasing Harris from prison.

"They let out a criminal from jail that ultimately killed our brother," said William Murray, Gossett's brother.

Harris was convicted of killing Louis Porter in 2012 in front of Porter's 5-year-old son. He spent years in prison until the DA's office said they discovered prosecutor misconduct, and Harris was released in 2021.

"When you see that same situation happen again to another family, it just ripped the band-aid off. It's all coming back," said Walter Porter, Louis Porter's brother.

He was disgusted to hear what happened to another family and pointed the finger at the justice system.

"This could have been avoided, this didn't have to happen," Porter said.

Action News asked the district attorney's office for comment on why they didn't re-try the case after discovering misconduct.

"He was exonerated due to police and prosecutor misconduct as well as further investigation including cell phone records that likely eliminated him as a participant altogether," said Jane Roh, communications director for the district attorney's office. "The commonwealth conceded at the time his conviction was overturned and vacated that he was likely innocent of the 2012 murder."

That doesn't sit well with either family. They want justice for their loved ones.

"What the DA is doing, he's trying to cover his behind by asserting he did the right thing," said Porter.

"What are you doing for the community?" Asked Cruz. "You not doing anything for the community. What are you doing for the people"? How are you stopping these crimes."

Police are looking for two other suspects in connection with Gossett's murder.

Anyone with any information is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.