UPDATED: 5:45 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Brandon Olivieri, the 18-year-old accused of killing two South Philly teens a year-and-a-half ago, has been found guilty.
He has been convicted on two counts of murder: one in the first degree for the death of Salvatore DiNubile, and the other in the third degree for Caleer Miller.
— Kristen Johanson (@KristenJohanson) May 17, 2019
In his closing statement Friday morning, Assistant District Attorney Matt Krouse outlined the case to jurors and said it all started with “I’ll pop them all” — referring to Olivieri’s alleged words on Instagram weeks before 16-year-olds DiNubile and Miller were shot and killed at 12th and Ritner streets in October 2017.
Through the week-long trial, the jury heard from about a dozen witnesses linking Olivieri, who was 16 at the time, to the murders, including testimony from eyewitnesses, surveillance video from experts, text messages, cellphone records, and ballistic evidence.
Olivieri and Miller were friends, and prosecutors say the defendant went out “looking for trouble.” Because of a bruised ego from a previous fight, they say, Olivieri shot and killed DiNubile. Miller was shot in the process.
The jury questioned the transfer of intent — Olivieri intended to kill DiNubile, but not Miller, which is why the jury settled on third-degree murder for Miller’s death.
As Olivieri’s parents left the courthouse Friday, they maintained their son’s innocence.
“It was a fixed trial. It was a fixed trial!” they shouted.
“We believe that justice has been served,” said Krouse, “but we would really like to remind everybody that this is about the memories of the victims.”
Defense attorney Bob Mozenter called the eyewitnesses liars several times in his closing argument, adding that the prosecution’s case was “full of red herrings” and he questioned why more people weren’t called to the stand.
The defense also called a character witness — Olivieri’s cousin — who said he was a good kid and shouldn’t be on trial.
“I thought that this was a third-degree case rather than a first-degree,” Mozenter said after the verdict. “We did our best. It’s a very sad, tragic case.”
Salvatore DiNubile Sr. said he’s forever changed by the loss of his son.
“We’ve relived every day of this tragedy over and over, every day this week,” he said. “We’re never going to be the same. Our lives are over; our lives are ruined. But we got one little bit of justice today, and we are thankful for that.”
Olivieri will be sentenced in about two months. He is facing 35 years to life in prison.
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