01/17/10 — Jury: Man not guilty of sexual offenses

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Jury: Man not guilty of sexual offenses

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on January 17, 2010 1:50 AM

Larry Gene Garner Jr.

A jury found a Charlie Braswell Road man innocent Friday of all 12 counts prosecutors sought against him, according to court records.

Larry Gene Garner Jr., 45, was found not guilty of first-degree sex offenses and other counts.

Jurors deliberated for around seven hours before finding Garner not guilty on all counts, records show.

Garner had led deputies on a six-hour hunt to find him on Nov. 24, 2008, and was found in a wooded area armed with two handguns.

Authorities said the manhunt was set off by a threat from Garner to harm himself, by leaving a note in his vehicle and also by talking with family members via cell phone.

At the time of his arrest, he was jailed under a $300,000 secured bond on two sexually-related counts. Authorities later expanded the charges to include to include the dozen counts.

Testimony from various family members and case workers made up the state's case.

Garner himself was the only witness for the defense.

Attorney John Gomulka represented Garner.

The state was represented by Donya Strong and Terry Yeh.