Jury Acquits Former Griz Player in Shooting Death

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A California jury has acquitted former University of Montana cornerback Jimmy Wilson of homicide charges for the June 2007 shooting death of his aunt’s boyfriend.

Los Angeles Superior Court officials say Wilson was acquitted Thursday and freed from custody. He had been jailed on $2 million bail since his arrest on June 12, 2007.

Wilson was charged with shooting 29-year-old Kevin Smoot of Lancaster, Calif., on June 2, 2007. Court records say the shooting occurred during a confrontation at the home of Wilson’s aunt.

Wilson’s attorney, Jerome Bradford, argued that his client was acting in self defense.

Jurors were not able to reach a verdict during a November trial, voting 11-1 to acquit Wilson after a week of deliberations. Prosecutors refiled the charges.

Wilson was an All-America candidate and second-team Big Sky Conference defensive back for the Grizzlies after starting all 14 games in 2006. He would have been a senior in the fall of 2007.

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