A jury found 24-year-old Antwaun Henderson of James Island not guilty of murder Thursday in the 2008 Halloween killing of 24-year-old Shawn Michael Porter.
Shot in mid-afternoon, Porter died in his front yard in the Ponderosa neighborhood off Savannah Highway. Authorities said Porter received a phone call and went outside to talk to someone who knocked at the door.
A witness reported that four men got out of a Chevrolet Tahoe brandishing handguns. One man pointed a gun at Porter, the witness told investigators, and asked him about some stolen musical equipment.
Porter tried to run but was shot. A witness identified Henderson in a photo lineup, according to arrest records, and Henderson later surrendered to authorities.
Porter had attended West Ashley High School and later earned his general equivalency diploma. He worked at the Wendy's on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard.
The day of the shooting, neighborhood children donning Halloween costumes passed the crime scene as investigators worked behind yellow tape.
Henderson's defense attorney, Leon Stavrinakis, said jurors had no choice but to reject the prosecution's case against his client.
"Today's acquittal will allow Mr. Henderson, who has maintained his innocence throughout, to put this behind him and move forward," Stavrinakis said.
He and defense attorney Bill Runyon also extended thoughts and prayers to Porter's family who, he said, "have undoubtedly suffered an unimaginable loss."