Anti-Gang Activist Terrance Roberts Found Not Guilty of Attempted Murder

Update by Michael Roberts:
 For years, we've reported about Terrance Roberts, a former gang member who became a community activist, only to be charged with attempting to kill Hasan Jones, 22, in 2013. Jones was paralyzed in the attack.

Now, however, a jury has found Roberts not guilty of the accusations against him.

As noted by the Denver District Attorney's Office, Roberts was originally charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

The weapons violation was subsequently dismissed, and after extended deliberations, the jury has found Roberts not guilty on the other two counts.

Continue for our previous coverage of the trial; it includes links to numerous earlier posts, reports and a feature article.

Original post, 10:50 a.m. September 30: The northeast Denver community gathered at Holly Square to celebrate the area's rebirth at two festivals Saturday. But Terrance Roberts —  the former member of the Park Hill Bloods who spearheaded the rehab of the shopping center at East 34th Avenue and Holly Street after it was firebombed in a 2008 gang attack — was not there.

He was awaiting trial for shooting 22-year-old Hasan Jones in the middle of Holly Square at another celebration in September 2013, paralyzing him below the waist. 

Opening arguments in that attempted murder case begin today. Roberts says he acted in self-defense, and that the Bloods were out to get him.

Since Roberts was arrested, Jones himself went on trial in Denver District Court for attempted murder in a drive-by shooting case. He was acquitted, but in May was charged by the Arapahoe County District Attorney's office with felony child abuse causing death in connection with the mysterious death of Ny'Ari Sanique "NyNy" Hines at the Aurora apartment where Jones lived with the two-year-old and her mother.

"I'm not upset about him getting acquitted at all — he deserved his day in court the same way I deserve mine," Roberts said this spring of Jones's acquittal in the drive-by case. "If a jury felt he was not proven to be guilty, then he got the type of justice we all fight for in the streets and the courts." But Roberts was concerned with what had happened to the little girl: "With or without my pending case concerning Hasan, everyone should want to know! Hasan has done nothing but destroy my life, my children's lives, his family's lives, his other victims' lives, his own life and our community."

Whatever happens in Roberts's trial, the work at Holly continues. Although Prodigal Son, the anti-gang organization he founded, no longer exists, other groups have stepped up. A brand-new Boys & Girls Club named for the Anschutz family now fills the eastern half of the Holly, and additional community-oriented development is planned for the rest of the site. 

For more on Terrance Roberts, his work at the Holly and the legacy of his group, read our April 15 cover story, "Prodigal Son."