Mother knows best. Or so it would seem for Demione Antione Stevens.
After pleading guilty Wednesday in Richmond Circuit Court to second-degree murder and a related firearm charge, Stevens quickly withdrew his pleas after his mother made it clear she was not OK with her son’s decision. She stood and abruptly left the courtroom as her son was entering his pleas.
Stevens, 30, decided to listen to his mother and to take his chances with a jury. So he went on trial on the more serious charge of first-degree murder, which carries a maximum punishment of life in prison, and also the same firearm charge.
On Thursday, the second day of his trial, the jury deliberated for 2½ hours before finding Stevens not guilty of both charges. The reading of the verdict prompted cries of “Yes!” from his supporters in the courtroom gallery. Stevens looked around impassively, not showing any immediate reaction.
The defendant’s mother, Natalie Stevens, said she had felt confident her son would be acquitted after she heard his attorney’s closing argument.