After two-and-a-half years of waiting, a week of testimony, and 11 hours of deliberation, two families finally have answers. A Tulsa County jury found Jason Nicholson, a former nightclub bouncer, not guilty of first-degree manslaughter in the 2004 death of Scott Bolton. The News on 6â€™s Joshua Brakhage reports while one side is putting the fight behind them, the other is finding they're inspired to fight even harder.
â€œAmen! Yeah, Zach!â€ exclaimed defendant Jason Nicholson.
It was a late night, but there were still time for hugs as Jason Nicholson wrapped his arms around his legal team.
"He's maintained his innocence from the beginning, and obviously the 12 people who decided this case agreed," Defense Attorney Zach Smith said.
"Man, thanks to everybody for supporting me, and everybody who had my back, I appreciate it," said Nicholson.
It was another late night in September 2004 that put the court drama into motion. Twenty-three year old Scott Bolton was in a downtown Tulsa parking lot when he was punched, the force of the hit caused him to fall and hit his head on the pavement. He died five days later.
Surveillance video shows Jason Nicholson and Clay Spicer at the scene, but each argued on the stand that the other threw the fatal punch.
"I know they felt they got a victory, but we got a victory, because we got the truth,â€ said Boltonâ€™s mother Debbie Henry.
Henry says based on the testimony, she believes she now knows who killed her son. She got the jury trial she wanted, and says she has the answers she's been looking for, even if she didn't hear a guilty verdict from the jury foreman.
"I was totally stunned,â€ she said. â€œAlmost passed out, I couldn't believe it. I just pray to God each of them feel good with the verdict they came up with."
Nicholson's attorney says public opinion was skewed against his client. He says Jason Nicholson isn't the former boxer turned bully he was portrayed to be. Still, Scott Bolton's mother says Jason "is" the last person her son ever saw, one late night in downtown Tulsa.
Debbie Henry has been pushing through legislation at the state capitol to insure Oklahoma bouncers are trained and certified. The bill's been through a Senate committee, Henry thought it would be butchered, but says the legislation has more teeth now, and it would expect even more from bouncers than she had hoped.
Read more about this case.
2/27/2007 Key Witness In Nightclub Bouncer's Trial Testifies
12/19/2006 Waiting For Justice
11/30/2005 Tulsa Bouncer Cleared Of Manslaughter Charges
3/22/2005 Judge Raises Bond For Two Men Charged With First Degree Manslaughter
3/16/2005 Charges Filed In Tulsa Homicide Investigation
3/11/2005 Ordinance Requiring Licensing Of Bouncers Moves Forward
12/7/2004 Tulsa Man's Death Subject Of Multi-County Grand Jury Investigation
11/16/2004 State Multi-County Grand Jury Investigates Death Of OU Student And Tulsa Bar Patron
10/29/2004 Tulsa Mother Pushing For Tougher Guidelines For Bouncers
10/18/2004 Death Outside A Tulsa Nightclub Remains A High Priority With The DA
9/30/2004 New Details In Death Of Man Killed Outisde Tulsa Nightclub