For two years, boxer Yathomas Riley sat in Miami jail cells awaiting trial on an attempted murder charge. Prosecutors said he'd shot his ex-girlfriend Koketia King in a jealous rage in 2010, derailing his promising career as a fighter.
But a series of stories from Miami New Times staff writer Michael E. Miller began unraveling the case earlier this year; on Friday, prosecutors abruptly dropped all charges against Riley, crediting Miller's reporting for unearthing new evidence. New Times was there when Riley left jail on Friday to meet a jubilant crowd of family and friends. Click through for video and the close-out memo from prosecutors.
Update: In a close-out memo describing why they dropped charges against Riley, prosecutors credit New Times for turning up new evidence about a letter written by Riley's ex-girlfriend that included a stolen Social Security number.
"It was not until the state read a Miami New Times article, several weeks after it had been published, that it was ever brought to the State's attention that the blood-stained letter included a variant-coded social security number disguised as a phone number," they write.
However, the memo also blames Riley's defense team for not shedding light on the evidence sooner, and makes it clear that prosecutors still believe Riley shot his ex-girlfriend.
"Although it is evident to the state that the defendant was the one who shot the victim, the fact that the victim repeatedly lied to both police and prosecutors about a key piece of evidence in the case has fatally hindered the State's ability to prosecute it," they write.