A Franklin County jury found Kevin Jones, 21, not guilty Thursday of murdering his girlfriend Nona Dirksmeyer.
The verdict came down Thursday afternoon after nearly nine hours of jury deliberations over two days. (See link below pictures.)
Dirksmeyer’s mother and stepfather, Carol and Duane Dipert, sat emotionless during the reading of the verdict, but at one point smiled at each other.
This is all Jones had to say, "I want to thank the jury."
However, his attorney had much more to say now that the gag order has been lifted.
"The defense found evidence that was not found by the Arkansas Crime Lab that detected male DNA on a condom wrapper near the body,” defense attorney Bill Bristow says. “We also found some four inches from her head, a finger nail with male DNA not belonging to Kevin."
Dirksmeyer was murdered Dec. 15, 2005, at her Russellville apartment. She was 19.
Prosecutors admit disappointment, but are happy to be going home.
Prosecutor David Gibbons says, "We'll keep the file open for a short period of time. We do not have any evidence that anyone other than the person that we charged, will be charged.”