Juror speaks on acquittal of man accused of shooting 6-year-old

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- The story of Josel Flores is a heartbreaking one. Caught in the crossfire of gang violence in Phoenix, he'll have scars and pain for the rest of his life. His mother is now his in-home nurse.

"It's a nightmare every day," she said. "Every single minute."

Scott Cannon is now a part of Josel's story.

"I have three daughters, and they're my world," he said. "I can't even begin to understand what she's going through."

Cannon is one of 12 jurors who found the alleged gunman, Freddy Payan, not guilty, much to the dismay of Josel's mother. Cannon says Payan's defense attorneys argued he had no part in the shooting, and the state couldn't prove he did.

"There were two witnesses that were not in that core group that couldn't place Freddy at the scene at all," Cannon said. "So, that weighed a lot into our decision."

For its part, the Mariopa County Attorney's office said in a statement: "While we are convinced that Freddy Payan is guilty of causing the injuries to the victim in this case, the jury was not convinced by the testimony and evidence presented. Although we strongly disagree with the verdict, we must respect the outcome."

Payan's defense team, while happy with their win, said they understand the victim's pain.

"We sympathize with the victims and their families for what they went through and we hope the true gunman is found and brought to justice," attorney Jocquese Blackwell said.

Cannon, who believes the jury's difficult decision was the right one, shares that hope.

"My heart goes out to Josel, and I want someone to pay for this, but that someone, in all honesty, I don't feel is Freddy Payan. And I couldn't in good conscience say that it was," he said.