Jones acquitted in Dunn Co. homicide case

Published: Jul. 14, 2017 at 6:29 PM CDT
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The man accused of shooting and killing another man in the Town of Weston near Menomonie is found not guilty.

A jury has acquitted 30-year-old Jerad Jones of 1st Degree Reckless Homicide in the shooting death of his brother-in-law, 32-year-old Justin Ogden.

The jury deliberated for an hour before reaching the decision to acquit Jones Friday night. After the verdict was handed down, Jones could be seen hugging and thanking his lawyers and others gathered in the courtroom.

During this week-long trial, lawyers from both sides laid out their case to the jury. Attorneys for Jones argued his brother in-law, Justin Ogden, had a violent and drunk history that created a hostile environment for Jones, his sister and her daughter who they say he was trying to protect.

The prosecution said Jones had previously made comments about wanting to kill Ogden and said in order to take back power in the household, Jones shot Ogden, who was unarmed at the time.

The attorney for Jones, Aaron Nelson says he is satisfied with the result and happy his client can move forward.

“Jared gets to go back to his life and it's a different position,” Nelson said. “He is no longer living where he was; he is in a different household. Life is a lot bluer and happier and better for him. His sister is in a better spot now, she certainly has a loss. I think they are looking to regroup and start again.”

“I am disappointed in it,” Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf said. “I don't believe that justice was served, but this is our judicial process and I respect the decision the jury made.”

Nelson added every jury is unique and he says he wasn't surprised that they reached a decision so quickly.

MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A Menomonie man has been acquitted of a homicide charge in the shooting death of another man.

Jurors found Jerad Jones, 30, of Menomonie not guilty of First-Degree Reckless Homicide in the death of his brother-in-law, Justin Ogden, 32, in December 2016. The trial began Monday.

Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf said Jones had made comments about wanting a permit to kill Ogden earlier that day. She also said, in order to take back power in the household, Jones shot Ogden in the Town of Weston, which is near Menomonie. Ogden was unarmed at the time. Nodolf also said Jones didn't believe in police interference and wanted to take the law into his own hands.

The defense argues that Ogden's violent and drunken history created a hostile environment for Jones, his sister and her daughter. Jones' attorney says he was trying to protect them. Defense attorney Aaron Nelson also said Ogden lived in the same home as Jones and his sister and that Ogden had beaten them both on multiple occasions, including earlier that night. Nelson went on to say that, at the moment of the shooting, Jones believed he had no other choice than to shoot Ogden in self-defense.

"The uncontroverted evidence is he said he believed him," Nelson told the court Friday. "He said it over and over and over and over. He said it before the event. He said it during the event. He said it after the event."

"This case has nothing to do with self-defense and everything to do with vigilante justice - a type of justice that is no justice at all and a type of justice that can not be tolerated in our society," Nodolf said during the trial.

The jury started deliberating around 5 p.m. Friday.