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Briard found not guilty on all charges

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After roughly nine hours of deliberation, the jury came back Wednesday afternoon to find Robert Briard not guilty of all criminal sexual conduct charges.


Before the verdict was read, Judge Peter Irvine instructed the audience that this was "an emotional case for everyone but behave yourselves when the verdict is read. I expect you to act like adults."

The courtroom was split with prosecution supporters on one side and the Briard family on the other. After the verdict was read, there were tears and hugging on both sides of the aisle.

Irvine read the jury's findings of not guilty on Count 1 first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under age 13, a lesser charge of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under age 13, and Count 2, second degree criminal sexual conduct for contact with a minor under 16 years of age.

The case against the rural Frazee hog farmer wrapped up Tuesday afternoon around 4:45, sending the jury into deliberations. It continued until the judge excused them around 9:15 that night, and began again at 9 Wednesday morning. The jury came back with a verdict at 1:10 p.m.