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And it took the jury a whole 40 minutes to find them not guilty of attacking Kenneth Gladney.
CLAYTON • Two men charged in an altercation outside a contentious town hall forum in 2009 were found not guilty Tuesday of assault after a trial in St. Louis County Municipal Court.
The verdict came today after a trial that started Monday.
Elston McCowan, of St. Louis, and Perry Molens, of De Soto, had been charged with attacking a third man who was selling buttons outside the politically charged meeting, called by U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, at the height of debate over health care reform. Carnahan had wanted aging to be the subject, but many in the crowd wanted to argue over the president's health care plan.
Kenneth Gladney said he was selling "Don't Tread on Me" buttons and flags outside the forum when McCowan and Molens attacked him without provocation.
The two were charged with assaulting a person and interfering with police, both ordinance violations. The interfering with police charges were dropped and the trial was for assault charge, for which they could have each faced up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The jury deliberated about 40 minutes before returning with their verdict.
__________________ "The blade itself incites to deeds of violence."
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