Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Gun Range Death of Christopher Bizilj

Verdict

  

After roughly 6 hours of deliberations over two days, the jury of seven men and five women reached their unanimous verdict. The courtroom was tense. Fleury's family sat in their usual seats in the third row. Christopher Bizilj's family and supporters sat in the back row across the aisle. Notable by his absence was Dr. Charles Bizilj, who appeared in court to testify but was not seen in the courthouse before or after.

The verdict is read.
The verdict is read.

The jury returned four verdicts of not guilty of all charges. Edward Fleury sobbed openly at the defense table, as did his wife Jacalyn who sat hand-in-hand with their son Daniel in the gallery.

Edward Fleury made his first public comments after the verdict, telling reporters that he would "rather have been dropped into Hell than go through this." He expressed condolences to the Bizilj family for "this terrible accident" and said that he hadn't been able to sleep for months after Christopher's death. Fleury professed that he would seek God's guidance about his next career, but offered "I'm thinking about nursing."

Christopher Bizilj's mother Suzanne said she was not surprised by the verdict and expressed relief at being able to put the trial behind her. "Either way it was a no-win situation," she added "I don't think jail time would have served anyone well."

On January 18, 2011, the next business day after the verdict, prosecutors dropped the involuntary manslaughter charges against Domenico Spano and Carl Giuffre, filing nolle prosequi notices with the court. In his filings, William Bennett wrote that their "conduct is factually similar to that of co-defendant Edward B. Fleury... As a result, the Commonwealth does not believe further prosecution is in the interests of justice."

 

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