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Nickey Yates Freed After Being Found Not Guilty Of Killing Neighbor

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An Onslow County man, who has been in jail for the past three years, is once again a free man.

A jury this afternoon found Nickey Yates not guilty of killing his neighbor back in 2010.

Jurors deliberated about six hours over two days to reach the verdict, which was announced around 12:15 p.m.

Yates was accused of killing Linda Hulsman, and stealing her prescription pills on November 1st, 2010.

At the time, Yates was 19 years old, and the woman was strangled at her home outside of Jacksonville.

The jury found him not guilty of first degree murder, kidnapping, robbery and breaking and entering.

Less than two hours after the verdict, Yates was released from jail. Two jurors met Yates and told him he had a second chance, "Make us proud," said one of the jurors.

Yates says he wants to go back to school and is relieved to be with his family once again.


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An Onslow County jury has resumed deliberations in the trial of a man accused of killing his neighbor more than three years ago.

Nickey Yates is charged with the murder of Linda Hulsman, and stealing her prescription pills on November 1st, 2010.

At the time, Yates was 19 years old, and the murder happened at Hulsman's home outside of Jacksonville.

Jurors deliberated about 3-1/2 hours Wednesday afternoon without reaching a verdict.


Previous Story

A jury deliberated about 3-1/2 hours Wednesday afternoon in the trial of a man accused of killing his neighbor more than three years ago.

Nickey Yates is charged with the murder of Linda Hulsman, and stealing her prescription pills on November 1st, 2010.

At the time, Yates was 19 years old, and the murder happened at Hulsman's home outside of Jacksonville.

Closing arguments began late this morning, after one juror was dismissed for a criminal history in Minnesota.

Jurors got the case around 1:45 p.m. and ended for the day around 5:30 p.m. They have to decide whether Yates is guilty of first degree murder, common law robbery, first degree kidnapping and felony breaking or entering.

The judge denied a defense request to have the jury consider second degree murder as well.

The trial began two weeks ago, and if he is convicted, Yates could get life in prison.


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