Facing a potential life sentence if convicted, a Gainesville man was acquitted on all six counts of an indictment alleging a kidnapping and assault with a knife.
Miguel Angel Robles-Fernandez, 27, was found not guilty on all counts, including aggravated assault, kidnapping, theft by taking and battery.
The jury heard closing arguments and Superior Court Judge Bonnie Oliver’s instructions around noon Tuesday and returned with the verdict before 4 p.m.
“He told (authorities) within about 12 hours, ‘This is not me,’” defense attorney Larry Duttweiler said.
Robles-Fernandez was also acquitted on one count of alleged participation in criminal street gang activity, a charge that was not discussed during the trial. Oliver acquitted the defendant by a directed verdict from the bench.
Duttweiler said the kidnapping charge would have carried a life sentence.
The final witnesses for the state testified Tuesday morning, and the defendant chose not to testify.
Hall County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Tom Wilson met with the victim in February at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where she was getting her hand stitched. She told authorities she had been grabbed at her residence in Oakwood.
The state introduced photographic exhibits of scratches found on the defendant’s arms, which Robles-Fernandez said he suffered in the woods.
Duttweiler cross-examined Wilson on what evidence could show the scratches came from any type of struggle from the alleged assault.
“Her hands had been submerged in a solution, which eliminated me from wanting to take any type of sample from under her fingernails,” Wilson said.