Updated 12/07/2012 05:05 PM
Maxwell Wyant Found Not Guilty
There's a verdict in the Maxwell Wyant murder trial. Jurors have found the Brighton man not guilty in connection with the death of his former roommate, CJ Schoen. The jury began deliberating Thursday afternoon, but didn't reach a verdict until around 4 p.m. Friday.
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It was an emotionally-charged case surrounding two young men in their early 20s; one of them shot to death, and the other charged with murder.
In the end, after nearly two full days of deliberation, the jury decided Maxwell Wyant was not guilty. They considered charges of murder, two counts of manslaughter, and one count of criminally negligent homicide.
Wyant had been charged with a shooting at a Brighton home that he once shared with CJ Schoen. Schoen was shot to death February 8th. Wyant told police he shot Schoen in self-defense.
Prosecutors called the killing an execution during closing arguments. They said Friday they were extremely disappointed in the verdict.
Schoen's mother called it a travesty.
"I mean, that was my son. This is a travesty. It really, really is, and I just fear for other kids, because this kid is a psychopath. Now that he got away with it, he knows how to do it, and he'll do it again," said Valerie Cottrell, Schoen's mother.
"Anytime you give a case to a jury, you don't know what's going to come. You'd like to think you have a strong case, but ultimately it's their decision, and we have to live with their decision," said prosecutor Michael Harrigan.
"I'm very pleased, I'm pleased for my client and his family. It's been a long journey for all of us. I'm very thankful for the jury. I know that they worked hard. All we could tell by how long it was taking them was that they were working hard, and they did, they obviously followed the law and weighed the evidence very carefully," said defense attorney James Nobles.