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2013 Kokomo murder case: 1 of 2 brothers found not guilty



Kokomo, Indiana – One of the two brothers accused in connection with a ten-year-old cold case murder in Kokomo was cleared by a jury in less than 90 minutes.

Jesse McCartney, 36, was cleared by the jury on Friday of all charges related to the death of 21-year-old Destiny Pittman, including murder, robbery, and burglary.

Around 9:30 p.m. on February 7, 2013, Kokomo Police Department officers responded to a complaint of gunfire in the 800 block of James Drive. Pittman was unresponsive and unconscious when they got there. Later, she succumbed to her wounds.

Police discovered early on in the inquiry that Pittman’s death may have been related to a home invasion, in which two armed men broke into the house and shot Pittman.

Court records state that Jesse McCartney and his brother Joey McCartney, both 32, became suspects over ten years later when an informant claimed to have been present when Pittman was shot.

After the brothers entered the house, the informant heard gunshots; Jesse McCartney returned with money and a sizable quantity of marijuana, the informant claimed.

The Kokomo Police Department announced the arrests of both men in March 2023 as a result of the information.

According to the Kokomo Tribune, Launa Hunt, a former detective with the Kokomo Police Department, gave a defense testimony during the trial. The McCartney brothers were not thought of as prospective suspects as she worked on the case, she testified to the court.

Ballistics evidence was questioned by a firearms examiner with the Indiana State Police, and the absence of DNA, fingerprints, and cell phone records all made the case less compelling, according to the newspaper.

The trial for Joey McCartney is set to begin on Tuesday, according to court documents.