A Ford County jury Wednesday returned a not guilty verdict in the Sean Kelley murder trial in Paxton. The jury of nine women and three men deliberated an hour and a-half before ruling the 34-year-old Paxton man 'not guilty' of second-degree murder in the 2013 death of Jeffery Potts of Paxton.
Kelley was charged in connection with the fatal stabbing of the 49-year-old Potts during a fight on October 17, 2013, in front of a downtown Paxton tavern.
Kelley had faced a sentence ranging from probation to between four and 15 years in prison if convicted of the Class 1 felony.
Kelley's defense attorney successfully argued argued during Kelley's two-day trial that his actions last October were in self-defense. Bruce Ratcliffe also raised doubt about whether Kelley ever possessed the knife that caused the fatal injury to Potts.