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Woman aquitted of murder in friend's death

Updated:
MADILL, Okla. (AP) _ A Marshall County jury has acquitted a woman of first-degree murder in the death of a man described as her drinking buddy.

The panel deliberated six hours and nine minutes before finding Renee Dyan Perry, 38, innocent in the bludgeoning death of Samuel Leroy Bailey.

District Attorney Mitch Sperry said Bailey, 56, was found beaten to death early on Oct. 11, 2002, at his home. Police found a pipe and a claw hammer at the scene, each covered in blood, Sperry said.

Perry was charged because she had been seen with Bailey about the time of his murder, Sperry said. She also had made statements that indicated they had an altercation and that she had struck him with a hammer, the prosecutor said.

Defense attorney Gary James said the two longtime friends had fought and she hit him with a hammer after he tried to strike her with a pipe.

Sperry said his case was hindered by reports that Bailey had been seen alive after the time that Perry claimed to have left the house, and by reports that her brother-in-law didn't see a body when he visited the house.

``That was always the most difficult issue for us to deal with,'' he said.
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