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Moon man acquitted in 2007 McKees Rocks killings

| Friday, Sept. 18, 2009, 12:00 p.m.

An Allegheny County jury apparently did not believe a taped confession from a man accused of killing a McKees Rocks couple and acquitted him Thursday of all charges.

Marcus Lamont Early, 21, of Moon was accused of killing Cardell Gary, 24, and Christina Law, 34, on Feb. 7, 2007, in their home along Railroad Street. Early told police he went to rob Gary of drugs and shot both people.

Defense attorney Lisa Middleman turned to Early after the verdict was read and pointed at him.

"You have a responsibility to God, to me and to all of the people in this room to make something out of yourself," Middleman told her client.

Jurors declined to comment as they left, saying only that it was a hard decision. The jury deliberated about two hours before returning verdicts of not guilty on two counts of homicide, and one count each of robbery and carrying a gun without a license.

Family members of Gary and Law hung their heads and wept as the verdict was read. They declined to comment.

Deputy District Attorney Janet Necessary presented a taped confession Early gave to police. Early said he went to the home, and when Law called him a "rat" he shot her in the head. Gary then ran at him and Early shot him, he said on the tape. Early had acted as a police informant in the past, Necessary said.

"Do you believe this confession• That's the essence of this case," Necessary told the jury in closing arguments. "Marcus Early confessed to this crime."

Middleman attacked the confession, saying Early was on cocaine at the time and that another man was the shooter. Middleman said Early confessed because he feared the shooter and another man would kill his family. Middleman pointed to a lack of physical evidence linking her client to the crime.

"He said he did it rather than have his family face the wrath of these two men," Middleman said. "I'm very gratified the jury understood the concept of reasonable doubt with less-than-adequate proof."

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