COLDWATER, Mich. (WOOD) - After deliberating for about a day, jurors in the murder re-trial of Thomas Foley found him not guilty of the premeditated murder of his wife, DeeDee, in their home in February 2009.
This was the second murder trial for Foley, who was arrested in March 2009 for killing his wife, then convicted in November 2009.
Foley won a new trial after judges agreed there was new evidence in the case. After the verdict was announced, Foley mouthed the words "thank you" to jurors, and later fell to his knees in tears.
Jurors in the case began deliberating Friday afternoon and continued Saturday afternoon. They found him not guilty on both counts.
Before they began deliberating, Judge Conrad Sindt told jurors they "must pay no attention" to the fact that Tom Foley had been tried before. "It must not affect your consideration."
Foley's defense attorney, J. Thomas Schaeffer said the time line of events made it "almost impossible for him to have done what they (the prosecution) said."
When asked about his client is doing, Schaeffer said "This man has endured two-and-a-half years of something that I'm not sure that any of us have any idea of how you would deal with it. I hope he's having a beer."
Schaeffer added that Foley's next efforts are going to be to mend the harm done to the relationship with his son -- something he said is going to take a lot of time.
The news spread quickly throughout the small town of Coldwater, with a community car show underway just one block away from the courthouse. The new verdict left some relieved, and other doubting the justice system.
"I think the investigation the first time could've been handled a little bit better," said Coldwater resident Tom Porter. "I think justice was served this time.
Robin Hughes, also of Coldwater said she hoped Foley could find some good things in his life now that the trial is over.
"It's going to be hard for him to find a new life, but hopefully people will give him a chance," said Hughes.
Meanwhile, Dickman Yee did not react to the verdict as positively.
"I hope he's innocent," said Yee. "But somebody had to do it."
Others around town were more than happy to share their doubt in the new verdict, but not on record.
Tom Foley also had nothing to say as he left court Saturday. Once facing life in prison, he's now a free man for the first time in two years.
Thirty-three-year-old Ronald T. Smith II was grew up in Warren.
Is tonight the night? Maybe it's tomorrow. Or even Sunday.
Two other people, who were inside the residence at the time, escaped safely.