LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A former Louisville police detective was acquitted of murder, manslaughter, and reckless homicide yesterday in the fatal shooting of a teenage drug suspect that stoked racial tensions in the city.
The former detective, McKenzie Mattingly, showed no emotion as the verdicts were read. Jurors returned the partial verdict after more than eight hours of deliberations and were sent back to deliberate on a separate charge of wanton endangerment.
Mattingly's trial has been watched closely in Louisville's black community because 19-year-old Michael Newby was the seventh black man killed by Louisville police since 1998. Mattingly is white.
In an 11th-hour turnaround, the prosecution told jurors during closing arguments that they should not find Mattingly guilty of murder, but convict him of a lesser charge.
"I do not think that is what he is guilty of," said Scott Davis, an assistant prosecutor.
Mattingly's attorney, Steve Schroering, said Mattingly feared for his life before he shot Newby.
"There is not one piece of evidence in this case that proves that McKenzie Mattingly was doing anything other than protecting himself," Schroering said during his closing arguments.
The wanton endangerment charge related to shots fired by the detective in the direction of a liquor store drive-through window.