After deliberating since Tuesday afternoon, a Houston County jury found a Cottonwood man not guilty of murder in the death of his brother.
Matthew Preston Forehand, 28, was charged with murder in the July 5, 2018, death of Andrew Forehand.
Defense attorney Matt Lamere argued during the trial his client acted out of self-defense.
"I know this case has been difficult," Lamere said. "I'm happy for the family that this trial is over."
Forehand pleaded not guilty on Jan. 7 following a Houston County grand jury’s Nov. 28 indictment.
Testimony during Forehand’s trial indicated the shooting occurred in the residence of the brothers’ grandmother, and that Matthew Forehand was legally allowed to be in the residence at the time of the shooting. Forehand had been charged with capital murder because police believed the crime occurred during the course of a burglary, which can occur when a person is on property without permission.
Houston County Sheriff’s investigator Frank Bissett testified Andrew Forehand was found dead inside the grandmother’s residence with a gunshot wound to the head when police arrived after receiving a call from dispatch.
Bissett testified that a deputy had responded to the same residence earlier the same day regarding a criminal mischief charge, and that Andrew Forehand filed a report against his brother for damaging his vehicle.
When the complaint was filed, no witnesses could confirm Matthew damaged his brother’s vehicle although it was damaged.
During Forehand’s trial, Lamere stated that in the 911 call one can clearly hear Matthew say his brother was going to kill him or do him harm. Lamere argued during the trial that self-defense is the motive.
Prosecutors maintained their belief that Matthew Forehand was not in danger at the time of the shooting, and that Forehand brought his rifle to his grandmother’s home with a plan to kill his brother.
Editor’s note: Eagle reporter Michele Forehand is not related to the subjects of the story.