Boston Globe
 August 21, 1982

 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 

 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 

 "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."