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Defendant acquitted in drug cartel slaying

March 6, 2013 at 10:53 AM

EL PASO, Texas, March 6 (UPI) -- A jury in El Paso, Texas, has acquitted a man accused of participating in a plot to kill a member of Mexico's Juarez drug cartel.

Juan Gerardo Garcia Jr., 19, was found not guilty of capital murder in the death of Jose Daniel Gonzalez-Galeana, who was shot eight times in front of his El Paso home in May 2009, the El Paso (Texas) Times reported Wednesday.

During the trial, jurors heard testimony from one of Garcia's former best friends who testified Garcia helped plan the shooting of Gonzalez.

Prosecutors also presented evidence that cellphones belonging to Garcia and another defendant matched the movements of Gonzalez on the night of the shooting.

During closing arguments defense attorneys charged prosecutors failed to present concrete evidence that Garcia participated in the plot to kill Gonzalez.

Jurors deliberated less than three hours before reaching their verdict.

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