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Grand Island man found not guilty on murder charges
After a week long trial, a jury found Arkanjelo Kot not guilty for the first degree murder of 17 year old Walid Omar Aden.
Kot was facing 1st degree murder charges and the use of a weapon to commit a felony.
For two years Arkanjelo Kot has been in jail for the shooting death of seventeen year old Walid Omar Aden.
Through the good and bad he's received support from the small Sudanese population in Grand Island.
"I'm really impressed to see democracy happening here in the US," said Peter Lokodu, Sudanese Community Leader.
On November 13, 2012 Kot walked out a free man.
"I'm very disappointed it's going to be a tough phone call back to Ohio and tell Mr. Aden's family what happened," said Mark Young, Prosecutor, Hall County Attorney.
Kot could have faced life in prison if convicted on the charge of first degree murder. But after almost seven hours of deliberating a fourteen member jury found him not guilty on all counts.
"Could not be more pleased I think it was the right verdict based on the facts of the case and the evidence," said Denise Frost, Defense Attorney
Surveillance video played during the trial showed that on July 14th 2010 at the Pump and Pantry on West 2nd St a van approached one of the gas pumps.
Kot came out of the gas station approached that van and shots were fired.
Kot testified that Aden approached him yelling and swearing, asking Kot why he allowed his friend to be arrested regarding a shooting in 2009 that killed Kot's cousin.
Kot said he was terrified, he went to his car grabbed his gun and went back to the van to identify the person who confronted him. Kot said he heard someone say get the gun and things took a different turn.
" He was able to tell the jury in his own words what happened that night and of course he was the only one who could tell the story," said Frost.
The defense argued no evidence showed Kot was looking for trouble.
In fact, they say he acted in self defense.
The defense team described Kot as a full-time worker, who attended school at nights and even helped manage the apartment complex he lived in.
And, painted the victim Walid Omar Aden as a thug with tear drop tattoos on each side of his cheeks.
"The victim is essentially a blank slate that the defense can draw anything they want on and my ability to rebut that is pretty limited under the law," said Young.
Kot was being held at the Hall County jail without bond. Judge Livingston released that bond this afternoon.
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