Bogart Trial: Las Cruces man found not guilty of murder in shooting death of his friend
Updated On: Jul 08 2014 12:51:11 PM CDT
A jury believed the man who says he shot and killed his own friend out of self-defense.
The jury acquitted James Bogart Friday of second degree murder, meaning Bogart is a free man.
The first trial ended in a mistrial in December.
Bogart's future is still unclear because there was also a tampering with evidence charge.
During the trial, the wife of the man he's accused of killing took the stand.
"I never feared for my life when I was with my husband," Christina Hernandez, the wife of an Iraq War veteran who was shot and killed by his roommate, said in court Tuesday.
Hernandez is the prosecution's star witness in the retrial.
The accused killer says he was just trying to protect her.
Bogart -- who is disabled -- is accused of killing Jeremy Hernandez and then trying to make it look like self defense by placing a knife in the victim's hand.
ABC-7's New Mexico Mobile Newsroom was in the courtroom when jurors saw photos of the victim and the crime scene.
Last year, a jury convicted Bogart of tampering with evidence, but deadlocked on the murder charge.
On Tuesday, Hernandez told jurors she was in another room when she heard gunshots the day of the killing. She described seeing her husband lying in a pool of blood and Bogart with a gun in his lap.
"And he told me to not call the police," Hernandez said on the stand. "That he was trying to save me."
The prosecutor then asked, "How odd did that statement seem to you?"
"Well, it didn't make any sense to me," Hernandez responded to the prosecutor.
The prosecutor then asked, "Why?"
"At the time, I didn't feel like I was in any danger," Hernandez said.
Hernandez said she didn't understand why Bogart would kill her husband in order to protect her.
However, she did admit she argued with her husband over his extra-marital affairs.
She also testified he used cocaine frequently to help him cope with PTSD.
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