SAN ANTONIO - A jury on Tuesday took just over two hours to find former Bexar County sheriff's Deputy Anthony Thomas not guilty of murder in the 2013 shooting death of Matthew Jackson.
Thomas shot and killed Jackson, 29, on Aug. 31, 2013, after the two men were involved in a minor traffic accident on Loop 1604 near Lookout Road.
Former BCSO deputy Anthony Thomas found not guilty of murder.— Paul Venema (@PaulVenema12) May 24, 2016
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Thomas, who was off duty and in uniform, said he felt threatened as Jackson approached his car with "something shiny" in his hand. Sitting in the driver's seat, Thomas fired eight shots, hitting Jackson once in the heart. He died at the scene. The shiny object was later determined to be a cigarette lighter.
Thomas' attorney, Cleo Marshall, told the jury Tuesday morning during closing arguments that this was a case of self-defense.
“We have shown you, by the evidence, that there is reasonable doubt. That there is a reasonable doubt,” Marshall told the jury. “And you must -- you shall -- find Anthony Thomas not guilty.”
Assistant District Attorney Miguel Najera argued that the right verdict, in his opinion, would be to find Thomas guilty of murder.
“If his claims of self-defense are not reasonable, then they are not reasonable doubt,” Najera told the jury. “And if they’re not reasonable doubt, then he is guilty of murder.”
Thomas was facing a maximum sentence of life in prison had he been convicted.
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