Skip to main content

Philadelphia man not guilty in Minnesota student's killing

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A jury has acquitted Marcellus Jones for the killing of a would-be teacher from Minnesota in order to steal his iPod.

The highly publicized case ended Wednesday when the 37-year-old Jones was found not guilty in the 2008 shooting, during which 23-year-old Beau Zabel was attacked from behind while walking home from his job at a Philadelphia Starbucks, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Zabel, who was studying to become a teacher, died just weeks before he was to start work at a public school, FOX 9 notes.

The Inquirer says Jones exclaimed "thank you!" when the verdict was announced, but he will not be walking free – he's already serving a life sentence for the murder of his purported getaway driver, Tyrek Taylor.

Prosecutors say he feared Taylor would talk to the police about the crime and killed him, the Inquirer adds.

Philadelphia Magazine described the verdict as "stunning," noting Jones's raucous outbursts in the courtroom during the trial, including criticizing his own defense attorney, and interrupting Zabel's mother while she was on the stand.

But there was no physical evidence implicating Jones in the murder, the publication says, leaving the prosecution to rely on testimony from witnesses who said he'd admitted to the crimes.

However, Jones maintained he was not involved in the killings and insisted those witnesses were lying, WPVI-TV adds.

Zabel was from Austin, Minnesota, and was entering Drexel University as a post-graduate teaching fellow, according to the Austin Daily Herald.

Next Up

Police tape

Woman dies after being shot in Minneapolis

The woman in her 20s died at the scene.


Twin Cities liquor store worker offers shoes off her feet to unhoused man

The man asked for boxes to use as makeshift shoes before the woman offered hers.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 2.19.37 PM

St. Paul PD releases footage showing fatal police shooting of Howard Johnson

The 24-year-old died after being shot by a St. Paul officer Monday night.


22 dogs taken in by Animal Humane Society from shuttered breeder

The dogs were taken in after a report stated there were too many on a single property.


Latest on the 2 snowstorms set to impact Minnesota

The first arrives Thursday night into Friday before a bigger system comes next week.


Cop who pepper-sprayed downtown protesters received $150K payout

Samantha Belcourt said she "feared for her life."

Powerball Minnesota lottery

$1 million Powerball prize won in Twin Cities

The winning ticket was sold in Chanhassen for Wednesday's draw.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 9.16.18 AM

Animales Barbeque Co. looks to open brick-and-mortar location

The popular food truck has partnered with the owner of Billy Sushi.

Christmas presents

Here are some 2022 holiday shipping deadlines to keep in mind

Most deadlines are a few days before Christmas Eve.