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NJ man found not guilty in 33-year-old murders

Lee Evans AP

Lee Evans
AP
(CBS/AP) NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey man on trial for killing five teen boys more than 30 years ago was found not guilty Wednesday.

Lee Evans, 58, was acquitted on all 10 murder-related counts involving what had become one of the state's longest-running cold cases. The teens went missing in 1978. Their bodies have never been found.

According to the Newark Star-Ledger, members of the victims' families cried and hugged each other when the verdict was read. 

The newspaper also reports that Evans wept in the courthouse lobby after the verdict and said to a friend, "I feel like I still lost. Once somebody accuse(s) you of something that horrible..."

Later, he told reporters that the accusations and the trial were "like someone put you in the oven and burned you up. You can't undo that."

Prosecutors tried to prove Evans killed the teens in retaliation for a drug theft. A witness testified that he helped Evans lure the boys to a vacant home and lock them in a closet. He said Evans later set the house on fire.

Evans represented himself and maintained his innocence.

Prosecutor Carolyn Murray told the Star-Ledger that "with respect to this case criminally, this case is closed."

  • Crimesider Staff

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