ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) — A jury has acquitted a Kentucky man who was accused of killing his 4-year-old foster son.
News outlets report the Elizabethtown jury returned the verdict Wednesday for 34-year-old Billy Embry-Martin after deliberating for about five hours.
Hunter Payton died two years ago from head injuries. He was removed from his parents’ home by the state just two months earlier over alleged drug abuse and neglect.
Embry-Martin has maintained his innocence and testified that the boy fell and struck his head. A state medical examiner ruled the injuries were inflicted and not accidental. An investigation by Radcliff police and Child Protective Services led to Embry-Martin being charged with murder last year.
Embry-Martin’s attorney said the verdict was a relief.
The boy’s paternal grandmother said she was disappointed with the jury’s decision.
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