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Jury acquits man on aggravated assault charge

August 24, 2011

A 118th Judicial District Court jury Tuesday acquitted a Big Spring man of assaulting a woman with his automobile.

The jury deliberated about 30 minutes before finding Joseph Alton Murley not guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon at the end of the one-day trial.

Murley was accused of deliberately hitting a woman with his car in the 1300 block of Stanford on July 1, 2010. If convicted, he would have faced a prison term of between two and 20 years in state prison.

Assistant District Attorney Robin D. Orr, who tried the case for the state, said a lack of corroborating testimony hurt his case.

“We didn't find out until (Tuesday morning) that the witness wasn't available,” Orr said. “I think that deprived us of some valuable corroboration that would have helped the jury understand what was going on.”

Murley's defense attorney, Robert Miller, theorized that the alleged victim was in fact the aggressor in the incident that led to Murley's arrest, Orr said.

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