Teen cleared of shooting U.S. Army veteran, yoga instructor

A teenager was cleared in the death of a 30-year U.S. Army veteran and beloved yoga instructor who was shot in the head and found in a trash can in southwest Atlanta in September 2016.

Tarik Vasquez, 16 at the time of the incident, was found not guilty Tuesday in the death of Randy Smith after a seven-day trial in Fulton County Superior Court, according to a statement by District Attorney Paul Howard.

MORE: Teen charged with murder of 30-year Army veteran

“While we respect the criminal justice process and appreciate the jurors’ attention during this seven-day trial, we believe Tarik Vasquez is responsible for the death of Randy Smith,” Howard said.

The body of Smith, 58, was found in one of his rental properties on Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard, not long after his wife reported him missing, police said at the time. They located his truck about six miles away on Lena Street.

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Most read

  1. 1 4 arrested in human trafficking case involving 15-year-old girl
  2. 2 College football: UGA, Oregon to meet at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  3. 3 Kroger customer dares man to shoot him. Now he’s dead, DeKalb cops say

An Atlanta police spokesman said the 16-year-old was known to frequent the area in southwest Atlanta.

Smith started teaching yoga in Decatur in 2005. His case was profiled on the hit crime TV show “The First 48” in October.

In other news:

More from AJC