ATTLEBORO — An Attleboro District Court jury Friday acquitted a Norfolk man of all but one charge related to a drive-by shooting in North Attleboro last summer.
Kevin Baldwin, 21, was found innocent of carrying a firearm without a license and malicious destruction of property, both felonies. But he was convicted of unlawful possession of ammunition, a misdemeanor.
Baldwin was sentenced by Judge Daniel O’Shea to serve eight months of a two-year jail sentence with the balance suspended for two years with probation.
Because Baldwin has been held in jail since his arrest on July 13, he was released from custody because the committed portion of the sentenced was deemed served.
Baldwin was found innocent by the judge of the most serious charge of assault by means of a dangerous weapon before the case was given to the jury.
The judge issued a directed verdict on the charge because the evidence was not sufficient to sustain a conviction.
Baldwin was arrested along with three co-defendants following a drive-by shooting of a house on Kelley Boulevard on the night of June 22.
No one was injured in the incidents but the single shotgun blast blew a hole in walls of a second-floor apartment, according to trial testimony.
Baldwin was accused of being the getaway driver who allegedly supplied the 12-gauge shotgun used in the incident.
“Obviously we’re pleased they found my client innocent of the most serious charges,” said Baldwin’s lawyer, James Reidy of West Roxbury.
“I think they did a great job of weighing the evidence and the charges.”
Reidy said Baldwin’s arrest came at a time when his client was attending a community college full time while working as a landscaper and other jobs.
Baldwin excelled academically, Reidy said, and was a stand-out athlete in track in state and national competitions. He added his client hoped to return to college.
A friend of Baldwin’s and the shooter, Kenneth Morton, 20, of Attleboro, is currently serving a 2 1/2-year jail term. He pleaded guilty in August to assault by means of a dangerous weapon.
Morton was brought in as a witness but refused to testify, citing his Fifth Amendment constitutional right against self-incrimination.
When approached by The Sun Chronicle after his release, Baldwin declined to comment after looking at his sister, a lawyer.
Baldwin’s sister and their mother attended every day of the trial along with an aunt and two family friends.
The jury of four women and two men deliberated for about an hour over two days following the two-day trial.
During his closing argument, Reidy said the police conducted a sloppy investigation and that there was no evidence linking his client to the shooting.
Assistant District Attorney Matthew Lopes had argued that Baldwin told police he destroyed the shotgun and disposed of it in a Rehoboth swamp.
Lopes said Baldwin also told police the shooting was Morton’s idea because he had a beef with the tenant on the second-floor of the house.
The shotgun shells were found in the garage by police after Baldwin told detectives he had them in his home, Lopes said.
In addition to the sentence, Baldwin was ordered to pay restitution to be determined after a hearing April 28. He was also ordered to stay away from the three victims in the case.
The cases against two other co-defendants, Sarah Salvo, 20, of Norton and Christina Drainville, 19, of Providence, are still pending.