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A Lancaster County District Court jury acquitted a 28-year-old Lincoln man on weapons charges in a 2018 shooting at a Belmont neighborhood apartment complex. 

Prosecutors had accused Deandra C. Welch of three felonies, saying he fired a handgun July 5 following an argument outside an apartment at The Willows, 1800 Knox St.

No one was injured during the shooting.

At trial, the lone eyewitness, who had called in the shooting, said Welch was the shooter. 

But Welch's attorney, Nancy Peterson, said she believed evidence that the eyewitness had changed his story several times was an important factor in the acquittal. 

The jury also didn't receive any physical evidence tying Welch to the crime, and the shooting wasn't recorded on video, she said.

The trial lasted five days, concluding after an hour and a half of jury deliberations, Peterson said. 

Welch was euphoric after the jury returned its verdict Tuesday.

He was charged with discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling or occupied vehicle, using a firearm to commit a felony and possession of a firearm by a felon.

"If he had been found guilty, he could have conceivably never seen the light of day again," Peterson said, noting prosecutors sought to enhance the charges, alleging he was a habitual criminal.

He had been in jail since his arrest in July 2018 and was released a few hours after the trial ended. 

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

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