- Associated Press - Saturday, September 6, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) - In his second trial in the fatal stabbing of a Muscogee County schools superintendent 22 years ago, a jury on Saturday found a man not guilty in the slaying.

After a day and a half of deliberations, the jury acquitted Kareem Lane in the October 1992 slaying of Jim Burns, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports (https://bit.ly/1rRuipn ).

Burns’ widow, Stella Burns Butler, sobbed as the verdict was read, the newspaper reports.

Lane hugged his attorney and then his wife, Carol.

Sheriff’s deputies escorted the Burns family from the courtroom.



“You should be ashamed,” Burns’ daughter, Andrea Butler, said as she passed behind Lane and Jackson.

The family later released a written statement through District Attorney Julia Slater.

“The family is very disappointed with the verdict,” Stella Burns said. “We firmly believe Kareem Lane committed Jim’s murder. Regardless of what Kareem Lane believes, we believe in God and eternal justice.”

It was the second time Lane was tried in the case. His first trial in September 2012 ended with a mistrial when the jury deadlocked 10-2 in favor of acquittal.

Prosecutors said Lane, then a 17-year-old high school junior, sneaked into the master bedroom of Burns’ home and killed him there. Lane was detained that day for 12 hours but wasn’t arrested during the initial investigation.

Lane wasn’t charged until cold case investigators arrested him in May 2010 in Pell City, Alabama, where he and his wife lived.

After the first trial ended in a mistrial, Slater chose to retry him on the murder charge.

When asked how he felt after Saturday’s verdict, Lane listed a string of adjectives.

“Great. Wonderful. Fantastic. Awesome. Vindicated,” he said.

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