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Jury acquits man in slaying
Martinsville resident tried in Roanoke
Friday, July 27, 2012
ROANOKE (AP) — A Martinsville man has been acquitted in the shooting death of a man outside a Roanoke mobile home last year after a trial with conflicting testimony over whether it was self-defense.
Terry Nicole Preston, 43, of Martinsville, was acquitted Thursday in the Oct. 21 slaying of 19-year-old Patrick Ryan Dennis, according to reports. He also was acquitted of a related firearms charge in the case, reports stated.
Dennis was shot in the head outside the home of Preston’s cousin, who was the live-in boyfriend of a woman with whom Dennis had an intimate relationship.
Preston claimed that he fired on Dennis in self-defense after Dennis showed up at the home and fired a shotgun, striking him with pellets. But prosecutors argued that the victim was shot while his car was in reverse and his shotgun was in the back seat.
According to press reports, after the verdict as Preston left the courtroom, he began to feel ill.
Preston was taken out of the courthouse on a stretcher and placed in an ambulance, reports stated.
Early Thursday afternoon, a Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital spokesman said Preston had been discharged, reports added.
The trial started Monday and went to the jury on Wednesday. A verdict was reached around 10:15 a.m. Thursday.