COMANCHE COUNTY, OK (KSWO) - After nearly five hours of deliberations, a Comanche County jury has found William Givens not guilty on conspiracy to commit murder and shooting with intent to kill.
They did, however, find him guilty of conspiracy to bring contraband into a penal institute. Givens was charged in the 2016 shooting of GEO prison guard Rachel DeWalt
There was a huge sigh of relief from the family of William Givens as the not guilty verdict related to the shooting was read. Givens' mother spoke with 7NEWS just minutes after the announcement and said she was thrilled with the jury's decision.
"I just thank God that they saw there was more to this story and instead of just locking someone up they did what was fair. That's called beyond a reasonable doubt. I thank the jury, I thank the judge and I thank God. I thank my family for supporting me," said Givens' mother Kim Smithers.
Smithers said it has been a long journey to get to this point.
"This has been a real long ride for me because as everybody knows, my son got locked up at 17 years old on his first offense. He's been locked up from 17 to 30," Smithers said.
Smithers said she knows the crime her son was charged with was serious and she hopes they find the person responsible.
"I'm devastated at what happened to the officer. I feel like a case fighting against an officer is very difficult. But if there's not some truth in there, I feel like the jury did what they're supposed to do. What happened to the officer, I'll say once again, it was devastating, and I want whoever did this to be brought to justice. I just thank God they realized there was more to the story," Smithers said.
For the charge of conspiracy to bring contraband into prison, Givens was sentenced to 12 years in prison.