August 21, 1982 COURT ORDERS RELEASE OF INMATE AFTER HE SERVED 2 YEARS OF LIFE TERM Diane Lewis, Globe Staff The state Supreme Judicial Court ruled yesterday that a 23-year-old Roxbury man serving life at Walpole on a murder conviction must be set free. The man, Christian Amado, already has served two years. In an opinion released yesterday by the court, Justice Neil Lynch wrote that Amado, of 92 Crawford st., was tried and convicted on insufficient evidence. The judges concluded that a motion for a required finding of not guilty filed in Superior Court by Amado's lawyer two years ago should have been allowed. "The eyewitness in the case identified a photo that looked like Amado, but when he came into court and saw my client he said he knew Amado wasn't the killer," defense lawyer Frank G. Kelleher said yesterday. "I told Amado about this today, and he was shocked," he said. "He just couldn't find the words to express how he felt." Joseph Landolfi, a spokesman for the state corrections commissioner, denied a request for an interview with Amado yesterday because the department had not received official notification of the decision. "It seems to me that the prosecutors worry more about the number of cases they're prosecuting than anything else, which is why these kind of things happen," Kelleher said. A spokesman for the district attorney's office said yesterday that his office was studying the opinion, and may ask the state high court to hear the case again. Amado was convicted Oct. 29, 1980, of first degree murder by a jury sitting in Suffolk Superior Court before Judge Herbert Abrams. Police had reported that William Ashley of 131 Zeigler st., Roxbury, was walking his dog about 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 4, 1980, when he met the victim, George Sneed, 28, of 400 Mt. Vernon st., Dorchester. The two men walked together, and then Ashley returned home, leaving Sneed waiting on the front stairs. A neighbor, Frederick Johnson of 13 Cluny st., Roxbury, spoke briefly to Sneed and then rang Ashley's doorbell. While Johnson was waiting for someone to come to the door, he heard a sound behind him. He turned and saw a man pull a rifle from underneath his coat. The man shot Sneed three times and then ran. Two women saw Sneed fall to the ground and called police. The justices noted yesterday that although Johnson was the key eyewitness, he could not identify Amado in court as the man he saw shoot Sneed. The opinion said, "The prosecutor never asked Johnson whether Amado was the man who killed Sneed, but on cross-examination by defense counsel, Johnson testified that the defendant was not the assailant and was not at the scene on the night of the murder." Saying that the case could not be tried twice, the court set aside the guilty verdict, and remanded the case back to superior court for the entry of a judgment of acquittal. The justices said that a retrial would violate established court principles by giving "the prosecution another chance to supply evidence that it failed to muster in the first proceeding."