BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A jury in Birmingham has acquitted the first of four teenagers to stand trial on murder charges in the slaying of a veteran and father of two.

Jurors returned the verdict in favor of 17-year-old Charleston Wells on Friday after three days of deliberations. He was convicted of several county of breaking into vehicles, however.

Wells and three others youths were arrested in the gunshot killing of Iraq War veteran Mike Gilotti in January 2016. The man was shot to death as he was leaving his suburban home for a trip to the gym.

Police say the 33-year-old Gilotti was killed after he encountered someone breaking into his vehicle.

Wells took the stand to blame the killing on his co-defendants.

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