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Woman found not guilty of killing boyfriend says she feels 'relief'

Caryn Kelley
Caryn Kelley
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Updated: 5/29/2013 4:08 pm
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- A jury found an Orange County woman accused of killing her boyfriend not guilty Tuesday night.

Orlando real estate agent Caryn Kelley is a free woman. She was acquitted of manslaughter charges in the death of her boyfriend, Phillip Peatross, inside her College Park home in 2011.

Kelley told WFTV she knew jurors would find her not guilty. Kelley told WFTV before the verdict that she didn't testify because she was confident she'd be acquitted.

When a jury member read, "We the jury, find the defendant, not guilty," Kelley looked down, smiled and then hugged her lawyer.

As Kelley was leaving the courthouse, she spoke with WFTV.

"What was your reaction in there when they read those words?" asked WFTV reporter Tim Barber.

"Relief," said Kelley.

However, Peatross' family and friends didn't say a word when they left the courthouse.

Prosecutors tried to prove Kelley shot and killed Peatross during a drunken argument the couple had at Kelley's home, but it wasn't enough for the jury.

"I believed in this case. I believed in Caryn, and I am extremely relieved," said defense attorney Diana Tennis.

"Caryn, you were so confident. You were so confident earlier," said Barber.

"Because I didn't shoot him. I know that," Kelley said.

The defense argued Peatross took the gun and shot himself during a "horrible accident."

During closing arguments, Tennis apologized for giving the impression her client was going to testify. Kelley changed her mind on Friday.

When asked what she was going to do next, Kelley told WFTV, "Go to Disney World."

Prosecutors would not discuss the outcome of the trial.              
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