A Mayes County jury has found a Pryor man not guilty Tuesday afternoon in the shooting of a 14-year-old boy.
Derek Morgan's side of the courtroom made a collective sigh of relief when the judge read out the not guilty verdict.
The jury deliberated just under three hours before making their decision.
Morgan was on trial for assault and battery with a deadly weapon for shooting 14-year-old Cole Peyton.
Prosecutors said Peyton and two friends were knocking on doors in the early hours of New Year's Day in 2016 playing a neighborhood prank.
Morgan testified he thought the boys were trying to break in, and he feared not only for his life, but for his family's.
Morgan didn't say much after the verdict but did express his relief.
"I totally respect what the jury did with it and I understand the reason we got the verdict that we did. I certainly don't like it, but I understand it,” said Mayes County District Attorney Matt Ballard.
The grandmother of one of the other boys who was involved in the incident, but was not shot, said she's disappointed but she also said she understands.
"I hate to see someone go to prison because you see both sides of the story. But I don't think he should just walk away," said Robbie Mathis.
Peyton's mom did not comment on camera after the verdict.
Family/friends of Cole Peyton form a prayer circle this morning at Mayes Co. Courthouse. It’s verdict day for Derek Morgan—accused of shooting Peyton on New Year’s 2016. Morgan claims self-defense, says he thought Peyton and friends were breaking in. pic.twitter.com/cGRKfl8M37— Taylor Newcomb (@TheNewcOn6) September 25, 2018
Prosecutors say Peyton and friends were just playing a “neighborhood prank,” ding-dong ditching, etc. and meant no harm.— Taylor Newcomb (@TheNewcOn6) September 25, 2018
The jury is now deliberating the case of Derek Morgan. He’s charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon for shooting 14 year old Cole Peyton. He faces up to life in prison if convicted—but prosecutors aren’t asking for the max punishment.— Taylor Newcomb (@TheNewcOn6) September 25, 2018