"How do you go home to that?" Cox asked.

In an interview with homicide detectives, Derrick Scott, the other cousin, said he heard the two men fighting and shots ring out. He said he came down the stairs and saw Rashaw Scott running out of the house.

"He called the family saying he did it, he was sorry ... and he was going to turn his self in but look, it's about a month or two later ain't nothing, ain't nothing happen," Derrick Scott said, according to an interview transcript in court records. "I'm hurt real … I'm all messed up."

Cox said Derrick Scott had changed his story to more strongly implicate his cousin. Cox argued at trial that any calls his client made after the killing did not amount to a confession.

There were other people who might have wanted Davenport dead, according to Scott's legal team. His previous lawyer, public defender Gregory J. Fischer, wrote in court filings that Davenport had been charged — but never convicted — in connection with six murders or attempted murders.

"The victims and the victims' associates of these previous incidents would have had a potential motive to commit the shooting of Gregory Davenport in the instant matter," Fischer wrote.

Cornell Harvey, 26, one of the men charged in the murder of Carter Scott and the attempt on his father, had also been cleared recently in a murder case. Eddie Tarver, 20, has also been charged.

Witnesses in Harvey's previous case had credibility issues, according to his attorney, Jane Loving. He and another man were accused in the 2010 robbery and shooting of Randol Buncombe and Dajuan Harris behind a Cherry Hill home. Buncombe died.

Loving said testimony given by Harris, who survived the attack, did not match physical evidence in the case.

Loving also successfully represented Harvey in an earlier gun case. She has not heard from him about representation in the current case, and no other lawyer is listed for him or Tarver in court records.

She said she was "horrified" when Harvey was charged in connection with the murder of Scott because, like Cox, she had told her client he "should leave Baltimore."

"Being found not guilty in these two cases, I felt like if I was one of the policemen, I might keep a closer eye on him," she said, adding that she worried that her client might be the target of revenge.

Buncombe's mother, Kim Kennebrew, looked at the outcome of that case differently.

She sobbed as she recalled finding out that police alleged that the same man charged in her daughter's death had killed Carter Scott. Kennebrew said she thought the Baltimore justice system had failed her daughter — and now Carter Scott as well.

"I received this phone call now saying this baby is dead," said Kennebrew, who lives in Georgia. "It's hard for me to handle this baby being dead because I had done everything I could have to avoid this baby being dead — to get a conviction for my daughter."

Baltimore Sun reporter Justin George contributed to this article.