Jury finds Mayes County man not guilty of assault with deadly weapon after shooting teen

Derek Morgan (Pryor Police Department)

PRYOR, Okla. (KTUL) -- Jurors have found a Mayes County man not guilty of assault and battery with a deadly weapon after shooting a 14-year-old boy on New Year's Day 2016.

Police say Derek Morgan shot the boy as he and his friends were knocking on doors in Pryor and running away. The teen has since recovered.

The prosecution says there was no good reason for Morgan to shoot the boy, but the defense says Morgan thought the boys were trying to break into his home.

In closing arguments Tuesday, District Attorney Matt Ballard said Morgan shot the boy in the back as he ran away. The defense, however, said that wasn't the case and pointed to medical evidence to support their argument.

Defense attorney Chuck Ramsey told jurors in closing arguments, " but for the grace of God, there go I." Ramsey said Morgan's was the third house the boys went to that night. The homeowner of the second testified he went to get his shot gun, and who knows what would have happened if the boys hadn't already left?

Ramsey also said he might have done the same as Morgan.

"If they'd have come to my house at 1:30 in the morning, I'd probably sitting in that seat," he said, pointing to where Morgan was sitting.

The defense said Morgan, thinking someone was breaking into his home, had a right to defend himself.

It took jurors about three hours to reach a verdict. Morgan and his family left the courthouse in tears.

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