Jury finds Casper man not guilty of murder

Joe Gratz Flickr
Associated Press

CASPER, Wyo.— A jury has acquitted a man charged in a fatal shooting in front of a Casper home.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports jurors deliberated for about two hours Thursday before finding 68-year-old Charlie Mapp not guilty of murder in the August 2014 death of 28-year-old Richard Abeyta.

Authorities say Mapp and Abeyta began arguing after Mapp returned from buying alcohol with Abeyta’s girlfriend. Abeyta accused the two of having an affair.

Defense attorneys say Mapp was protecting himself after Abeyta, who was considerably larger, threatened him. Prosecutors argued Mapp could have called 911 or simply walked away.

Members of Abeyta’s family gasped and began crying when the not guilty verdict was read. They gathered in the parking lot, hugging one another and sobbing, but declined to comment.