Andrew Orellana Trial Verdict: Not Guilty

(DAKOTA CITY, NE) A Dakota County jury finds Andrew Orellana not guilty of first degree murder. After deliberating Friday afternoon and Tuesday morning, the jury reached its unanimous not guilty decision by 1:00 PM.

As the judge read the verdict, Orellana's family burst out with emotion. His mother, brother, four sisters and family friends cried, hugged and prayed, thanking the jury for seeing what they always knew was the truth.

"He is innocent and he's always been innocent in our hearts. We love him and we will always and we love each other and it proves that family that sticks together will always be together," says Miriam Terrones, Orellana's sister.

"We would like to thank the jury for seeing the fallacies of the state's case," says Richard Thramer, Orellana' attorney.

Orellana had been charged with first degree murder, accused of shooting Joaquin Guerrero in 1997. The trial started two weeks ago, on the same day as the murder 12 years earlier. Orellana's family says their thoughts and prayers go out to Guerrero's family.

"This issue has divided us and ultimately united us. And I think that's the craziest thing about it is just like, we've all fought amongst ourselves, we have a big family that's kind of had its challenges. And this is really the time where we're having closure on an issue that's been so painful to us which is great," says Alex Orellana, Orellana's brother.

Orellana's family plans to now pick up the pieces and restore Andrew's name in the community. They say Orellana found God while in jail and lifted his family's spirits through the trial.

Orellana was not released Tuesday because of a felony charge in Colorado from a few years ago. His attorney says he's charged with providing false information to a pawn shop. Wednesday he'll sign an extradition waiver and authorities will have ten days to pick him up or he'll be free. His attorney says Orellana is ready and willing to go back and deal with this charge and then move forward with his life following the verdict.

Reported by Erika Thomas. You can contact her at {A href=""}