A Youngstown man sighed with relief after a jury found him not guilty of beating a man with a baseball bat during a family dispute last year.
Kory Jackson, 25, of Sarna Drive, has been on trial before Judge Lou A D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on a single charge of felonious assault.
The jury of five men and seven women began deliberations about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday and returned a not-guilty verdict about 45 minutes later.
Jackson, shortly after the reading of the verdict, exhaled deeply, hugged his attorney, James Lanzo Sr., and said he is eager to get back to a normal life.
“It’s been over a year since my name has been drug through the mud with this case. This case says nothing about my character,” he said. “I am just glad [the jury] saw I had nothing to do with this. I am glad it’s over, and I want to get back to school and get back to work.”
Prosecutors argued that Jackson and his brother, Kenneth Jackson, 30, attacked Kenneth Jackson’s former girlfriend’s father, Raphael Rodriguez, with a bat during a family argument. Kenneth Jackson pleaded guilty to the felonious assault charge and will be sentenced at a later date.
Kenneth Jackson also testified on behalf of his brother this week.
Jeffrey Davis, an assistant county prosecutor, told jurors there was a huge argument between the Jackson and Rodriguez families until someone took the daughter of Kenneth Jackson and the girlfriend and headed to a different house close by.
Davis said Kenneth Jackson hit the man first, knocking him to the ground, then Kory Jackson came in, saw the situation and hit the wounded man again.
Lanzo said the tale of the events is partially accurate up until the part about his client hitting Rodriguez with the bat. He said Kory Jackson left the house before the attack and did not return.
“Kory Jackson was not there. That is our whole argument. He didn’t do it. He was not there,” Lanzo said.
Lanzo brought in several people who testified as to Jackson’s whereabouts at the time of the attack.