Not guilty: Judge clears Vassey in teen’s shooting death

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Brunswick County courthouse in Bolivia. Port City Daily staff photo.
Brunswick County courthouse in Bolivia. Port City Daily staff photo.

A Brunswick County Superior Court judge has acquitted a police officer of a manslaughter charge in the fatal shooting a mentally ill teen.

On Friday morning, Judge Richard Brown told the courtroom he’d found 46-year-old Bryon Vassey not guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old Keith Vidal at his Boiling Spring Lakes home on Jan. 5, 2014. The judge rendered his verdict after 14 days of trial in the case, having heard from nine state witnesses and four defense witnesses.

Judge Brown did not explain his verdict to the court but said, “in all candor the evidence I have heard in his case is still in my memory and it’s going to be for a long time… . This has been an extremely tragic and emotional case.”

The attorneys who represented Vassey in the case will be holding a press conference later today.

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