Gang member charged in MPD murder plot cleared by jury

CREATED Mar 15, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - One of the men accused in a plot to kill Milwaukee Police Officers is a free man tonight.

The man who prosecutors allege was the planned shooter in the plot is out of jail.

After just a three day trial, jurors decided known La Familia gang member, Joe Frazier wasn't guilty of the charges against him.

State prosecutors argued Frazier was part of a plot to kill two Milwaukee Police Officers and the head of a rival gang.

"Our defense was that he never actually agreed  to be a member of the conspiracy. He was told that he was supposed to be the shooter but it's not a crime to be told to shoot somebody," explained Fraizer's attorney, Thomas Erickson.

In fact, Erickson tells us it's not even a crime to talk about killing someone.

"You have to prove that you agreed to do it, that you're a member of the conspiracy. A member of the gang doesn't equal member of the conspiracy automatically."

Erickson defended Fraizer in court and tells us he wasn't surprised by the jury's verdict. He says there simply wasn't enough hard evidence.

Frazier's trial was the first of five.

Four others charged in the plot will face a jury too.

Erickson believe Frazier's verdict will effect the others.

"I think it will make it more difficult for the state to prove the cases against the other people that are charged because I think they'll have to deal with the same credibility issues that have now been established in our trial."

MPD did not respond to our request for comment on Frazier's release and verdict.