A Shawnee man jailed since August was released from custody Wednesday after a Pottawatomie County jury deliberated 22 minutes and returned a not guilty verdict in a second-degree murder trial.
Wayne Eric Dyke, 21, claimed self-defense in the shooting and was acquitted on the third day of the trial.
“We're thrilled with the verdict,” Defense Attorney Cregg Webb said. “We think the jury got it right.”
Webb said Dyke is ready to look for employment and make the most of his second chance at life.
Dyke was originally charged in Pottawatomie County District Court back in September with first-degree murder, deliberate intent, in the August 2018 shooting death of Mark Anthony Little, 38.
At about 7:15 p.m. on Aug. 27, 2018, Shawnee police officers responded to a shooting in the area of Broadway and Dewey Streets. Police working the case later identified Dyke as the shooting suspect from videos on home surveillance cameras in that area, with videos being part of the evidence presented at trial. Before the trial began Monday, the state amended charges in the case from first-degree murder to second-degree murder.
As the trial commenced, the defendant took the witness stand Wednesday and bolstered his story of self-defense, Webb said.
Webb, who said Little's autopsy report showed he had methamphetamine in his system and a blood alcohol content of .17, said Little accosted Dyke on the street as Dyke walked in that area on his way home.
“Mr. Dyke tried to walk away for two and half blocks,” Webb said, and asked Little to leave him alone.
Webb, who was assisted at trial by Defense Attorneys David Hammer and Matt Peters, said this was a clear case of self-defense, adding that Little had previously been convicted in a manslaughter case.
Assistant District Attorneys Joe Freeman and Curtis Bussett tried the case.
Pottawatomie County District Attorney Allan Grubb, when commenting on the verdict, said the jury did its job and was able to determine whether or not the defendant acted appropriately, with Grubb thanking jurors for their service.