|James Patterson was found not guilty of murdering his son-in-law|
A jury in McDonald County has acquitted a man from Noel who was charged with murdering his son-in-law two years ago on a street in Noel.
Duane Cooper, attorney for James Patterson, 51, convinced the jury that his client was defending himself, his wife and his daughter when he shot 32 year-old Marty Reece five times on Sept. 7, 2009. Patterson was also found not guilty of armed criminal action.
On Labor Day of 2007, Reece and James Patterson had been drinking and golfing together then they went to a bar and shot pool.
It was established during the trial that Reece, whose blood alcohol content was two times the legal limit at autopsy, was considerably more intoxicated than Patterson.
Reece called his estranged wife, Jindy Patterson-Reece, and asked her to drive him home.
The Paterson's told a Noel deputy marshal that they received a call from their daughter that night telling them "If you can hear me, I need you to come right now." Kimberly Patterson told the deputy marshal that she told her husband to take the gun with them as they were leaving.
Jindy Patterson was assaulted inside the vehicle in which she’d picked her husband up. He was still in that vehicle when his in-laws pulled up in their vehicle.
James Patterson told the deputy marshal that Reece "sucker punched" him as he got out of his vehicle. As the men were fighting, Jindy Patterson tried to intervene and the three of them ended up in a ditch.
Kimberly Patterson retrieved the gun from the car and hit Reece in the head with it three times before pointing it at his hip and attempted to shoot him. The gun didn’t fire, and the Patterson's told the investigator that at that point, Reece looked at his mother-in-law and said: “Pistol whip me, b----?” and reached for the weapon.
At that point James Patterson took control of the weapon and shot Reece five times.
40th Circuit Court Judge Tim Perigo had earlier dismissed charges of attempted murder against Kimberly Patterson, 47, for insufficient evidence.