A Yakima County Superior Court jury on Thursday voted to acquit a 19-year-old man charged with murder of a 16-year-old boy. After about 10 hours of deliberations the jury found Cameron Helland not guilty of second-degree murder in the November 2018 fatal shooting of Davontae Mesa.
The shooting happened during what authorities say was a drug deal at West Valley Community Park. Helland's defense attorney's maintained he fired in self-defense during a struggle in Helland's car during the drug deal. Prosecutors say they were surprised at the verdict given the evidence in the case.
Helland did plead guilty earlier this month to a misdemeanor charge of underage firearm possession. He's been released until sentencing on that charge on February 6.