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McDonald County Jury Acquits Arkansas Man of All Charges

Partner Drew Miller, long time criminal defense attorney, was successful in representing a client from Benton County who had been charged with first degree murder in the death of a McDonald County Missouri man.  Drew has his law license in both Arkansas and Missouri and this is the second time in two years that a jury has found his client not guilty in McDonald County.

In this case, it took the jury only one hour and forty minutes to decide that our client was not guilty of murder.  The client, who lived in Bentonville, was arrested in September of 2011 and accused in the death of one man and assault of another.  Our client argued that the shootings were in self defense and the jury agreed.

The shooting of the two men occurred during an altercation at a storage shed just outside of Washburn, Missouri. The client was in the process of assisting his girlfriend in removing a number of belongings from a storage shed when the girlfriend’s former boyfriend and another man arrived at the scene. A physical altercation between the woman and her ex boyfriend ensued causing the client to draw a shotgun and make repeated demands for the ex boyfriend to stop.  Ultimately four rounds were shot, two striking the ex-boyfriend and one striking his companion.

The McDonald County prosecutor argued both shootings were unjustified.  Drew Miller of Rogers,Arkansas, argued  that not “a single shred of evidence” supported that conclusion based upon the testimony of the witnesses and the medical examiner that performed the autopsy. Instead, Miller argued that the ex boyfriend was the initial aggressor and had a history of being violent.

Our client was initially charged with second degree murder and first degree assault but the murder charge was later increased to first degree murder. At the close of trial jurors were instructed on charges of first murder, second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter with regard to the death as well as first degree assault, second degree assault and misdemeanor assault in the shooting of his companion. The client faced a maximum sentence of life in prison without the opportunity for parole but after deliberating for less than two hours, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all charges.

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