MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – Jordan White walked out of the main Miami-Dade County jail, into the welcoming arms of his mother and father. It was a scene that underscored the Biblical declaration “the truth will set you free.”
“It’s amazing,” White told CBS4’s Gary Nelson. “With God, and the best attorney, the truth always comes to light.”
Two hours earlier White and co-defendant Desmond Owens were in jailhouse jumpsuits, in a hearing on whether White should be released. The pair have been locked up since being charged with a fatal drive by shooting in March.
The arrests were made on identifications made by a lone witness. The witness identified White, solely on having seen him on the web, gangster rapping under his stage name, “White Boy.”
“I was surprised he could be charged like this by somebody saying, ‘I saw you on a video,’ when we clearly knew that he was in Mexico.
Soon after White’s arrest, his attorney produced a stack of cell phone, Facebook, Instagram and border patrol records showing that he was in Mexico when the murder occurred.
Prosecutors finally agreed friday that White should be released.
“I would recommend he be released on his own recognizance,” Assistant State Attorney Richard Scruggs said. Judge Cristina Miranda ordered White freed on his own promise to appear.
The murder charge has not been dropped. Prosecutor Scruggs said the state agrees that White was in Mexico before the murder, and re-entered the U.S. two days after the murder. However, Scruggs said the state wants to rule out a brief period of time when he suggests White may have been able to return to Miami, commit the killing, then return to Mexico.
Defense attorney Simon Steckel said the scenario Scruggs suggests defies the laws of physics.
“We have a cell phone record that clearly shows Jordan called his mother from Mexico three hours after the murder,” Steckel said. “The murder was committed on the night of march 29th, and he re-entered the country two days later.”
“We’re going to do everything we can to prove his total innocence, because he is innocent, and it’s absolutely amazing that this could possibly go on,” said White’s mother, Lara Tomen. “This has been a nightmare.”
Steckel said the proof has already been provided, and the outcome is not in question.
“We’re basically just waiting for the state to announce the disposition, and the disposition is going to be they’re going to drop the charges against him,” Steckel said. “There’s no way they can go forward on this case.”
The apparently botched identification of White could also complicate the case against Owens, the co-defendant. Going against Owens, however: He was arrested in Tallahassee, driving a car resembling the one witnesses say was used in the drive by shooting. Three guns were found in the car. If ballistics tests on the guns match any of the bullets that struck the victim, it would provide strong circumstantial evidence against Owens. Two other men were also in the car with Owens when he was arrested, however, which could cloud the question of who had possession of the guns.
If the matter of the Mexican alibi in the case against White is bizarre, there is yet another strange sub plot in this crime drama. White and Owens were subsequently charged with an armed robbery. The robbery case, though, was soon dropped. Why? At the time of the robbery, Owens was in jail in Tallahassee after being picked up on the murder charge. Security video showed White shopping with his father in a North Broward Walmart at about the time the robbery was committed in Miami-Dade. Case dismissed.
White, who had never been charged with a serious criminal offense, made a pledge as he left jail Friday.
“To change my life, do something positive, be a family man, the best I can do,” he said.
The first change? No more gangster rap.