Jury acquits man charged with murder

ATHENS, Tenn. (WVLT) -A man charged with First-Degree Murder is free after a McMinn County Jury found him not guilty.

Ricky Bryson was indicted on counts of First-Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault and Theft of a vehicle in the 2009 death of Robert Gravley. Gravley was found severely beaten at a bench near his parked car and died later in a hospital.

Jurors deliberated for six hours before finding Bryson not guilty Friday. Bryson had been held in jail for three years, pending his trial.

Assistant prosecutor Paul Rush told jurors during his closing argument Gravely maintained he was beaten by Bryson and his car was stolen by the defendant and his then-girlfriend Angela Greene.

Defense lawyer Matthew Rogers said the dying Gravely told people what they wanted to hear.

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