Murder Charge Dropped For One Shooting Suspect
New York City Resident Jason Aquino, one of the three men allegedly involved in the fatal Kirkland House shooting this May, will not be charged for murder, prosecutors said today.
Aquino, 23, will now face charges of being an accessory after the fact of armed robbery and carrying a firearm without license. He has been held without bail since his lower court arraignments on August 3. New bail will be set at Aquino’s arraignment tomorrow in Middlesex Superior Court.
Corey Welford, a spokesman for the Middlesex district attorney’s office, told the Associated Press that prosecutors dropped the murder charges in part due to “additional developments of the facts and witness statements.”
Welford declined to disclose any new details about the May 18th shooting, citing the secrecy of the grand jury process.
First-degree charges remain against the two other men, Jabrai Jordan Copney, 20, and Blayn “Bliz” Jiggetts, 19. Copney pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, and Jiggetts is awaiting extradition from New York.The three men were allegedly involved in what prosecutors called a “drug rip”. Aquino, Copney, and Jiggetts, none of whom were Harvard students, arranged to meet Cosby on May 18 and planned to rob him.
During the meeting, multiple shots were fired in the basement of Kirkland J entryway. One of the shots struck Cosby and resulted in his death. Investigators later found marijuana and approximately $1,000 near Cosby’s body.
The three men fled the scene and returned to New York City that evening.
Copney was arrested in Harlem on May 21 and later indicted by a Middlesex Superior Court grand jury on charges including murder, accessory after the fact of murder, and possession of a firearm. He is being held without bail.
Jiggetts was arrested on June 9 and was indicted on July 10 by a Middlesex grand jury on similar charges. He has not yet been arraigned in Massachusetts.
Harvard University Police, Cambridge Police, state police, and the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office continue to investigate the murder.