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Jurors Acquit Man Of Murder

Jurors acquit man of murder
Date: March 25, 2006
Edition(s): Greensboro Page: B1Section:
TriadSource: ERIC COLLINS

GREENSBORO – A jury Friday acquitted a McLeansville man of murder in connection with the stabbing death of a friend last year. Walter Lee Puckett Jr., 23, was charged with the second-degree murder of John Ross Hunt, 21, of Gibsonville.

During his trial this week, his attorney claimed the stabbing was in self- defense after Hunt broke into Puckett’s apartment in the early hours of Jan. 4, 2005, choked him into temporary unconsciousness and beat him to within an inch of his life.

Puckett stabbed Hunt once with a kitchen knife and then called 911 and rendered first-aid after Hunt collapsed outside the apartment at 7047-A McLeansville Road. The fight was over Hunt’s girlfriend, who had sex with Puckett that night.

Prosecutors gave a different version: They claimed that the fight had stopped when Puckett grabbed knives and stabbed an unarmed Hunt unprovoked. They argued that Puckett was upset that Hunt had won the fight.

While the jury deliberated Friday, Puckett apologized to Hunt’s mother, who attended the trial.
“He went over because he felt terrible about it,” said his lawyer, Robert O’Hale. “(He) told her he was sorry, and she was extremely gracious and they both cried and hugged.”

Howard Neumann, the Guilford Chief Assistant District Attorney, who prosecuted the case, said it was an unusual case.
“It’s one that 12 people needed to decide whether it was a criminal act or not,” he said.

As the jury deliberates , Walter Puckett apologizes to the mother of the man he was accused of killing.

Article published in the  Greensboro News and Record

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