Accused ax murderer acquitted - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Accused ax murderer acquitted

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MEMPHIS,TN -

(WMC-TV) – Accused ax murderer Joshua Cline was released from 201 Poplar Saturday night after he was acquitted by a jury.

A little less than three years ago, Cline's family received the devastating news: a family member and his girlfriend had been killed with an ax.  The suspect was their own son.

Joshua Cline has been behind bars for almost three years now.  Saturday afternoon a jury acquitted him of all related charges.  It's a sigh of relief for friends and family who would have to wait a little longer for a reunion.

"It's just a matter of minutes.  He would never do this to his uncle," said Brenda Cline, Joshua Cline's mother, who's been waiting years for this day.  Those minutes turned to hours.

 Saturday she couldn't wait to see her son, Joshua Cline, walk out the door of 201 Poplar.  "They said everything was done, that he served all this time," Brenda stated.

Joshua Cline served time after he was arrested in late December 2010 in connection with the ax murders of his uncle and his uncle's longtime girlfriend.  Their bodies were found inside their home on Brewer Street, near the University of Memphis on Christmas Eve.

"We always knew he was innocent" said Cline's mother.  But just as she thought her son was going to be released, Brenda Cline received a phone call.  "They're saying a $2000 bond has to be put up," Brenda explained, meaning she and friends and family gathered here would have to wait even longer.  The jail asking for bond money on unrelated charges.

"We've been waiting three years," said Brenda Cline.  That waiting all but came to an end Saturday morning, when the jury started deliberation.  Almost four and a half hours later, a verdict came down that would set her son free.

"It's just hard, you don't even know how to explain it because he's fighting for his life" said Brenda.  Cline's attorney Gerald Skahan says there was likely a lack of physical evidence to convict Cline.  "The proof just wasn't there.  Sometimes you get innocent people caught up in the system and it appears in this situation that's what it was," Skahan explained.

Around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night, Cline was released from 201 Poplar.  He was greeted by his mother who was reduced to tears.  Joshua Cline said it felt great to hug everyone in his family.

Cline could have faced the death penalty if convicted.  Instead, he's headed home for the first time in almost three years.  But this doesn't close the door completely.  The family is still hoping for justice and that someday they'll find who is really responsible for the ax murder.

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