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
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
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."
Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal,
http://www.djournal.com and The Commercial Dispatch,