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Jury acquits Brookhaven man charged in alleged ’02 robbery

A Brookhaven man charged with robbing a disabled man in October2002 was found innocent Wednesday in Lincoln County CircuitCourt.

A jury took less than an hour to acquit Thomas S. Evans, 44, inthe incident that happened near the intersection of Independenceand Fourth Streets Oct. 1, 2002. The trial lasted all day Tuesdayand continued into Wednesday morning.

“I think it was a fair verdict,” Public Defender David Linzeysaid.

Assistant District Attorney Diane Jones expressed disappointmentin the jury’s decision.

“Not everyone agrees with what the evidence showed,” Jonessaid.

On the witness stand, Curtis Thompson, 51, of East IndependenceStreet, said he was jumped from behind as he was walking away froma Fourth Street residence after trying to repay money he hadborrowed. Thompson, who has a prosthetic left leg, identified Evansas the assailant who tried to take about $100 out of hispocket.

“I was on the ground, and he jerked my pants off,” saidThompson, who also said he was flipped and his shoulderinjured.

Under cross examination by the defense, Thompson denied going tothe Fourth Street residence to drink and said he was there to repay$20 to $30 he had borrowed earlier. Thompson said he first sawEvans at the residence and denied having words with the man.

“I never even talked to him. I didn’t know him,” Thompsonsaid.

After leaving the residence, Thompson said he turned east onIndependence and Evans turned west before the incidenthappened.

Following the trial, Linzey said the defense contended that theincident was not a robbery but a fight between two people who hadbeen drinking. Linzey said he thought jurors concluded that thealleged victim’s and prosecution’s version of events was notbelievable.

“The jurors saw through what was said and used their commonsense about life and the way things work,” Linzey said.