HOUSTON – It was a verdict that was supposed to send him to prison for 30 years but after spending six years behind bars for murder, 22-year-old Cameron Moon's conviction was overturned.
"It's one of those cases that really restores your faith in the judiciary," said Jack Carnegie, one of three attorneys who argued Moon's appeal of his 2010 murder conviction.
A jury had found Moon guilty of shooting Christopher Seabreak to death during a drug deal in a grocery store parking lot in December 2008.
Moon was 16 years old at the time and stood trial for murder as an adult, a process called "adult certification."
Moon's attorneys argue the judge didn't follow the correct procedure in making that decision and that Moon should have been tried as a juvenile.
"The basic problem is that those factors weren't correctly applied to him as an individual," said Carnegie. "The kind of sophistication and maturity you're talking about are gang leaders, your repeat offenders. Cameron was none of those things."
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Moon's murder conviction on Dec. 10.
Moon's attorneys say this is the first time in at least 25 years that a juvenile has appealed a judge's adult certification decision and won.
The Harris County District Attorney's Office told Local 2 they were "disappointed with the ruling" and are "considering a retrial and recertification" for Moon.
Although Moon may have won his appeal, like other juveniles certified as adults in criminal cases, Moon had to wait until he was found guilty to appeal his certification as an adult.
"There needs to be an immediate right of appeal from the certification so that a child who is wrongly certified doesn't spend six years in adult jail," Carnegie said.
Moon can be released from prison if his family pays a $75,000 bail. Carnegie says the family has not been able to come up with the money.
If Moon cannot post bail, he will remain in prison until the DA's office decides on a retrial.
Local 2 tried contacting Seabreak's family but they've been advised by an attorney not to comment.