A jury found a Duncan physician not guilty on Friday of assault and battery with a deadly weapon in the shooting last year of his ex-wife’s boyfriend.
The jury of six men and six women deliberated nearly seven hours before it delivered the verdict.
Dr. Oscar Morales never testified at his trial, but his attorney asserted he acted in self defense.
The shooting occurred Aug. 18, 2013, after Morales brought his three kids back to their mother after a weekend visit.
Morales got into an argument with his former wife’s boyfriend over toys the children were bringing into the home, testimony showed.
The argument escalated into violence that ended with the doctor shooting Kelly McKinnon in the upper left leg.
The doctor immediately began first aid on McKinnon and was still applying pressure to the gunshot wound when police and an ambulance crew arrived.
McKinnon and Rachel Morales testified they did not provoke the violence.
Defense attorney Garvin Isaacs introduced photograhic evidence that showed the doctor was heavily bruised after the incident to bolster his contention that was a full-fledged altercation preceding the gunfire.
A jury of six women and six men began their deliberations at 1 p.m. and delivered the verdict about 7:30 p.m. before District Judge Emmit Tayloe.
Jury foreperson Steven Arter, 26, of Duncan, said the jury struggled with its decision but finally decided prosecutors failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Morales, an internal medicine specialist, thanked the jury, his attorney and his family for sticking with him through the year-long ordeal.
Morales also said he hopes to restore his full visitations rights with his children, a 12-year-old girl and fraternal twins who are eight-years-old.
“There’s no reason those visitation rights should have been taken away. It’s been very hard,” he said, fighting back tears.
He was divorced from the children’s mother in 2012.
He said he plans to continue practicing medicine in Duncan.