Zebulon E. "Zeb" Nudson, the Nikiski man on trial for killing Justin Meireis and wounding three others at his home on March 12, 2000, was found innocent of all 10 charges against him Thursday afternoon in Kenai Superior Court.
"Not guilty on all charges and specifications," read Superior Court Judge Jonathan Link from the jury's decision.
Applause rang through the small courtroom where Nudson's future was debated over the past three weeks. Crying jurors hugged each other as defense attorney James McComas raised his fists in victory before hugging Nudson. Several jurors hugged Nudson after they were dismissed.
Link polled each of the seven women and five men on the jury individually, asking if the not guilty verdict reflected their true feelings.
"Absolutely," said one. "Definitely," said another.
Link released Nudson from his bail and set him free.
District Attorney John Wolfe said the case is closed as far as his office is concerned.
"The jury has spoken," he said.
"We knew from the start that this would be a difficult case, but the seriousness and the facts of the case, which were egregious, made us put this before a jury," he added. "We didn't want a government official sanctioning this killing. We wanted a jury to decide."
McComas said neither he, Nudson, nor Nudson's family would speak to the Clarion.
For more details on the trial and verdict, please see Friday's Peninsula Clarion.
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