Nalan found not guilty

A Juneau man accused of shooting his brother-in-law's friend in the face in December was found not guilty Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court.

After 1 1/2 weeks of testimony and arguments, the jury only deliberated for about an hour and a half before clearing Kenneth E. Nalan of the charge.

"And that was with lunch included," one of the 12 jurors quipped while leaving the courthouse.

Another juror told reporters lack of evidence was the reason he couldn't send Nalan to prison.

The 36-year-old construction worker and carpenter was charged with one count of first-degree assault in connection with the Dec. 20 shooting. The victim, John D. Duran, 33, survived, but required facial reconstructive surgery.

Prosecutors argued Nalan recklessly shot Duran, while Nalan's attorney Eric Hedland claimed it was in self-defense.
When the verdict was read in court, Nalan and his supporters erupted in tears and sobs.

"Thank God," was the only thing Nalan told reporters as he hugged his two daughters and left the courthouse with his wife Angela.

Duran was not in the courtroom when the verdict was handed down and was not immediately available for comment.

If he had been convicted, Nalan could have served up to 20 years in prison.

This is a developing story. Check back for more later today.

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