Not guilty verdict in home invasion case

Published 8:15 pm Tuesday, September 17, 2013

James Freeman

James Freeman


A Washington man was found not guilty in a home invasion case that went to trial this week in Beaufort County Superior Court.

A jury deliberated for a scant 15 minutes Tuesday morning before returning a not-guilty verdict for James Darnelle Freeman, 23. Freeman was accused of breaking into the West 11th Street home of Allen and Sayida Brooks on April 12, 2012, and beating Allen Brooks with a firearm, while another man stood watch on the porch outside. Both men had their faces covered to disguise their identities when the incident occurred.

Freeman was charged with burglary with intent to commit larceny and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

During Monday’s proceedings, Superior Court Judge Wayland Sermons Jr. expressed concern that witnesses had identified Freeman as the perpetrator through voice recognition — there was no other form of identification. While Sayida Brooks testified she was 80 percent sure Freeman enacted the crime, according to court officials there the lack of further means of identification along with the credibility of the witnesses contributed to the jury’s quick not-guilty verdict.

While Freeman has been cleared on the home invasion case, he remains in prison for several pending charges against him, including possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and first-degree burglary.