A Charlotte man was found not guilty Wednesday of murdering his former girlfriend’s 17-month-old daughter, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Kyiemani Brewer died in 2013 of “massive internal injuries, which a medical examiner said were caused by a powerful blow or blows to her chest,” The Charlotte Observer reported in an article on July 24, 2017.
A judge in July 2017 declared a mistrial in a previous first-degree murder trial against 26-year-old Antonio Fernelle Cathey in the toddler’s death, according to Wednesday’s news release from the district attorney’s office.
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The 2017 mistrial was declared after that jury “was unable to reach a unanimous verdict,” the news release said. “The Homicide Team then sought a retrial.”
Cathey’s attorney, Norman Butler, told The Charlotte Observer in an interview that the latest jury deliberated for just under four hours before returning Wednesday morning and finding Cathey not guilty.
“We know that justice was served in this case,” Butler told the Observer. “This case was different. The second trial was very different. It was clear that the evidence was not there.”
Cathey was the boyfriend of Kyiemani’s mother, 27-year-old Jade Butler, no relation to Norman Butler. In the 2017 trial, Jade Butler testified that Cathey “was the last adult to be with Kyiemani before she was found unresponsive on her mother’s bed,” the Observer reported in the 2017 article.
According to the Observer’s 2017 story, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police initially charged both Butler and Cathey with murder and felony child abuse. The charges were eventually dropped against Butler, the Observer reported. She was then charged with being an accessory to murder and child abuse, according to the 2017 article.
Court records show Butler has yet to be tried on the charge.