- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 6, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) - A federal jury has found a Hawaii man and his company not guilty of mishandling fireworks involved in a deadly explosion.

Jurors on Tuesday acquitted Charles Donaldson and Donaldson Enterprises of storing and treating hazardous waste without a permit. Jurors had been deliberating since Friday after listening to about three weeks of testimony.

Donaldson and the company weren’t charged with the 2011 explosion that killed five Donaldson employees. Prosecutors say the blast showed how dangerous the fireworks were.

During the trial, a judge dismissed a count alleging Donaldson lied about completely destroying fireworks the government seized. The judge also dismissed a conspiracy charge.

Donaldson’s defense attorney Thomas Otake says the explosion was the result of an accident, not criminal conduct.

Civil lawsuits by the families of the men who died are pending.

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