Man not guilty in Nevada stand-your-ground case

Published 1:57 pm Saturday, May 30, 2015

RENO, Nev. — Accused of murder for confronting two unarmed trespassers with a deadly barrage of gunfire, Wayne Burgarello walked out of a Nevada courthouse a free man after the jury found him not guilty of all charges in the latest of a series of cases nationally testing the boundaries of stand-your-ground self-defense laws.

“It’s going to be OK,” he said as he laughed with family members outside the courtroom after hugging his lawyer after the clerk’s reading of the verdicts Friday night.

Burgarello, 74, a retired Sparks school teacher, insisted he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed Cody Devine and seriously wounded Janai Wilson in a vacant, rundown duplex he owns in February 2014.

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A jury deliberated for six hours before finding him not guilty on a charge of attempted murder as well as four alternative charges of first- and second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. He would have faced up to life in prison without parole if convicted of first-degree murder.

Burgarello’s lawyer told reporters he wanted to go home with his loved ones after a long day and had no further comment.