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Jury acquits 1 of 2 brothers charged in 2013 slaying in north central Indiana

A former Social Security Administration employee based in Anderson, Indiana, was facing federal charges after being accused of defrauding the organization over three years and stealing nearly $50,000 from 2019 to 2022. (WISH Photo)

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — A jury has acquitted one of two brothers charged in a decade-old slaying in north central Indiana.

The jury deliberated less than 90 minutes Friday night before acquitting 36-year-old Jesse McCartney of Kokomo of all charges in the death of 21-year-old Destiny Pittman. She was found shot to death Feb. 7, 2013, at her Kokomo home.

McCartney was charged with two counts of felony murder and other counts including robbery resulting in bodily injury, burglary resulting in bodily injury and conspiracy to commit burglary.

McCartney appeared to weep as the verdict was read, as did several members of Pittman’s family, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

McCartney’s co-defendant and brother, Joey McCartney, 32, of Graham, Kentucky, faces the same charges and is expected to go on trial this upcoming week.

Former Kokomo Police Detective Launa Hunt testified in Jesse McCartney’s defense, saying cellphone records for potential suspects appeared to put them near Pittman’s home around the time she died but that neither McCartney brother was considered a suspect during her time on the case.

Witnesses told investigators that Pittman was shot in the chest after she went to confront intruders who had kicked in the door of her home, court documents said. The intruders then searched the home for drugs, investigators said.

The brothers were arrested after a witness told detectives last December that she and and Jesse McCartney drove to Pittman’s home, where Joey McCartney met his brother, the brothers went inside and she heard a loud bang before the brothers ran outside with Jesse McCartney carrying a bag of marijuana and a handful of money.

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