Cornelius "Germaine" Caddele was acquitted Tuesday of the drive-by shooting of a teen-age boy on Wohlers Avenue a year ago.
After a three-day trial before Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio, a jury deliberated 90 minutes before finding Caddele, 19, of Oxford Court, innocent of first-degree assault and weapons charges in the shooting of Eric Young, 14, at about 9:30 p.m. Jan. 1, 1998.
Caddele has been jailed since his indictment last June.
After Judge DiTullio told Caddele he was free to leave, he, his mother, father and grandmother, who came to Buffalo from South Carolina for the trial, all sobbed as they walked out of the courtroom.
Caddele's attorney, Anthony J. Lana, insisted Caddele was framed by poor police work and the false claims of Sean Harris, 17, currently serving an 18-month prison term for the drive-by shooting of another teen-age boy on Masten Avenue March 29, 1997.
Lana said even though police were told the assailant wore a yellow jacket, Caddele was wearing a green jacket when arrested about 90 minutes after the shooting. Also, he said, police never had him tested for gunshot residue.