ANGLETON — Ex-prison guard Lou Joffrion III was acquitted of first-degree felony aggravated assault of an inmate Tuesday afternoon by a Brazoria County jury.
District Judge Pat Sebesta of the 239th District Court told a tearful Joffrion, 26, he was "free to go" after reading the verdict aloud shortly after 1 p.m.
"We're disappointed in the verdict, as is the family, but we respect the jury's decision," special state prosecutor Jack Choate said.
Houston defense attorney Connie Williams said he was surprised by the verdict but hopeful it would go this way.
Joffrion was accused of using excessive force to handle a defiant 41-year-old David Witt at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Darrington Unit in Rosharon on Aug. 16, 2017.
Witt died of a severe lacerated liver at a Galveston hospital later that day, medical experts testified.
Jurors declined to comment on their decision.
More coverage coming in Wednesday's Facts.