Jurors took five hours to acquit Spencer "Lee" Newcomer IV of all charges for killing neighbor David Wintermyer, reaching a verdict at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Newcomer IV, 43, of 3812 Sylvan Drive in Springettsbury Township, was acquitted of first- and third-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.
He killed 47-year-old David Wintermyer in the street in front of their homes about 9:15 a.m. June 10.
As the jury foreman read the verdict, Newcomer and family members started to cry, as did Wintermyer's loved ones on the other side of the courtroom gallery.
"It's difficult to put into words how happy I am about this decision," defense attorney Chris Ferro said. "It's the right conclusion to a tragic situation.
"It was a well-tried case and the jury made its call," District Attorney Tom Kearney said. "You have to respect those decisions."
Shook hands: After court was adjourned, Kearney walked to the defense table and shook hands with Newcomer.
"The jury found him not guilty. He's a citizen of our community," Kearney said. "I said, 'Good luck.'"
Newcomer has been held in county prison since the shooting, but would be released Friday night, according to Ferro.
He said his client's family members were driving straight to the prison to pick him up.
Bonnie Henderson, Newcomer's girlfriend, said she believes the truth came out.
Testimony: During trial several eyewitnesses, mostly neighbors, testified the two men were arguing that morning, and Newcomer began to pull away but backed up, got out of his truck and fatally shot Wintermyer.
Those eyewitnesses told jurors Wintermyer had his hands in the air, as if gesturing or speaking with them, and that he never reached toward the pockets of his cargo shorts before he was shot.
But Newcomer testified that Wintermyer, a former Marine, did reach into his front pocket and was pulling out something black. Newcomer said he was afraid it was a gun, so he fired because he believed Wintermyer would kill him.
'No choice': "I didn't have a choice," he told jurors. "I've never been scared like that before."
Testimony revealed Wintermyer wasn't armed when he was killed. He was shot three times in the chest and once in the middle of his back.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.