Edmonds acquitted in Oktibbeha County murder - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Starkville

Edmonds acquitted in Oktibbeha County murder

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - A jury has acquitted Tyler Edmonds in

the 2003 shooting death of his brother-in-law.

The 19-year-old Edmonds was 13 when he was arrested with his

half-sister, Kristi Fulgham, for the Mother's Day weekend killing

of her husband, Joey Fulgham. She was tried in 2006 and sentenced

to death.

The jury of four men and eight women returned the verdict

Saturday in Edmonds' second trial on the murder charge.

The defense claimed Edmonds lied when he told investigators that

he helped Kristi Fulgham shoot her husband as he slept in his

Longview community home. Edmonds testified he was trying to protect

his half-sister. His attorneys claimed Kristi Fulgham coerced

Edmonds into confessing.

Prosecutors said Edmonds freely confessed to the crime. They had

played his confession for the jury.

Four years ago, Edmonds was convicted, but the Mississippi

Supreme Court in 2007 ordered a new trial after finding numerous

errors by the judge in his first trial.

Kristi Fulgham testified in Edmonds' first trial about the

slaying. She refused, however, to answer questions when called by

defense attorneys earlier this week because she has appealed her

conviction.

Edmonds broke down in tears after Circuit Judge Lee Howard

announced the jury's decision.

"I'm just relieved," Edmonds told reporters as he left the

Starkville courtroom. "I'm thanking God the truth came out."

Immediately after Howard read the verdict, Edmonds hugged his

attorneys, then embraced his mother, Sharon Clay. He walked out of

the courthouse surrounded by friends and got into his vehicle.

"Now I'm just ready to move on with my life - to let the past

be the past," Edmonds said before pulling away. "I just want to

live my life."

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Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal,

http://www.djournal.com and The Commercial Dispatch,

http://www.cdispatch.com

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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