February 21, 2014 at 7:14 am

Highland Park man acquitted in 2009 Albion killings

A Highland Park man has been acquitted of murder charges in the 2009 fatal shooting of two Battle Creek men in Albion.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports a Calhoun County Circuit Court jury returned the verdict Thursday in the case of 43-year-old Thomas Paris of Highland Park.

Paris sat quietly with his attorney, turning once when they exchanged slight smiles and a handshake.

Paris also was acquitted of weapons charges. He was charged in July 26, 2009 deaths of 28-year-old Ryan Erwin and 20-year-old Henry Williams. The victims were shot in a parking lot, where police said they’d gone to watch a basketball tournament.

Prosecutor David Gilbert says the case was an “uphill battle” because shooting witnesses weren’t willing to tell police what they saw or testify in court.