Taunton Murder Suspect Acquitted on Retrial
A Taunton man accused of shooting a man in the back of the head nearly a decade ago has been acquitted after a two-week retrial. On Tuesday, Jeremy Rhoden, 28, was found not guilty of murder in his second time before a jury at Fall River Superior Court, according to the Taunton Daily Gazette.
Rhoden is accused of walking up behind 33-year-old Joseph Dugan after midnight on July 8, 2010 as Dugan was talking to two women in front of an apartment building on Granite Street in Taunton and shooting the man once in the head.
However, Rhoden and his alleged accomplice, Donelle Bates, were not charged until 2015. That was after the uncle of Bates, who was in prison, cut a deal with prosecutors to testify in exchange for a reduced sentence. Kevin Bates did testify at Rhoden's retrial this month.
After the 2010 shooting, family members of Dugan told the Gazette that they believe his death was the result of mistaken identity. They claimed that Dugan's killing was an act of retribution for the stabbing death of a 17-year-old boy named Tigan Hollingsworth. Three men were convicted of murder in the death of Hollingsworth, and they are now behind bars.
Bates, who allegedly drove a getaway car in the Dugan slaying, was found not guilty of murder in September. As for Rhoden, DA Thomas Quinn said he respects the jury's verdict on retrial. He told the Taunton newspaper that prosecutors and investigators "worked tirelessly in pursuing justice for the Dugan family and community."
Rhoden's last trial ended in a hung jury.