- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A Dona Ana County man who has maintained his innocence in a teenager’s 2013 shooting death has been acquitted of murder.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (https://bit.ly/1Jto813 ) 29-year-old Efren Rey was found not guilty Thursday in the death of 17-year-old Fernando Morales at a birthday party.

Rey, who was the last person to testify in the four-day trial, said that he had been attacked by a group of gang members at the party. After firing a warning shot, he said he punched Morales with the hand that was holding the gun in an act of self-defense. The gun discharged, killing Morales.

Prosecutors had argued that there was no evidence of self-defense. Rey’s attorney said the fact Rey fired a warning shot proves he didn’t intend to kill Morales.

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Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, https://www.lcsun-news.com

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