Nicholson's family says Lubbock jury failed by acquitting Smith - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Nicholson's family says Lubbock jury failed by acquitting Smith

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

The family of Michael Nicholson reacts to last week's verdict in a Lubbock courtroom that Doneil Smith is not guilty of manslaughter in Nicholson's 2009 death.

Nicholson suffered mental disabilities and was a patient at the Lubbock State School.  Smith, an employee of the State School, had been accused of suffocating Nicholson while holding him down. 

Nicholson's family tells Amarillo TV station KFDA via email that, "This jury's decision will make it harder to prosecute the abuse, neglect, and yes, even the killing of these individuals all across Texas."

The family also says, "Had this been an animal treated in the same manner, instead of a mentally handicapped person, the same jury would most likely have found him guilty!"

Smith always claimed that Nicholson's death was not intentional, however, it was pointed out at trial that Smith lied about some of the details pertaining to Nicholson's death.

Smith's only comment after the trial was to thank those who supported him.

Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

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