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Texas man found not guilty in 1993 fatal shooting of 2 teens

October 6, 2018

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A West Texas man who served 18 years in prison for the shooting deaths of two teenagers before his conviction was overturned has been found not guilty in his third and final capital murder trial.

Forty-one-year-old Daniel Villegas collapsed in tears Friday after hearing the verdict in an El Paso courtroom.

His first trial, in 1994, ended in a mistrial but he was retried and convicted the following year and sentenced to life in prison.

An appeals court in 2013 overturned the conviction and a new trial was ordered.

Prosecutors say Villegas had confessed to a cousin and others that he killed the teens, who were targeted in a 1993 drive-by shooting. But his attorney says Villegas was only joking.

The El Paso County District Attorney’s Office cannot appeal Friday’s verdict.

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