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Internet Trial Acquittal

A day after a jury acquitted Shirley Egan of attempted murder, Egan's attorney Robert Wesley said the videotape of the defendant's daughter was probably the most significant piece of evidence.

"It made it easy for the jury to understand this was a forgivable act," Wesley said Thursday on CBS This Morning.

During her taped deposition, Egan's daughter — who was left paralyzed and won the right to die — said her mother didn't mean to shoot her when she opened fire.
"I'm sure it was an accident," Smith said in the videotape. "I know it was. She can't see that good."

The jury of three men and three women deliberated for more than seven hours before acquitting 68-year-old Egan of attempting to kill her daughter and her daughter's live-in boyfriend.

In closing arguments, the prosecutor said Egan knew precisely what she was doing when she fired a bullet into 42-year-old Georgette Smith's neck March 8. Egan's daughter was paralyzed from the neck down, left barely able to speak and incapable of swallowing or controlling her bladder.

The defense told the jury that Egan was under the influence of prescription drugs and didn't intend to shoot anyone.

The trial was viewed around the world at www.ninja9.com in what is believed to be the first U.S. criminal trial by a local court to be broadcast live over the Internet, reports CBS News Correspondent Byron Pitts.

The Web site devoted to Egan's case drew more than 250,000 visitors on the first day of the trial. Now, court systems across the country are looking into putting their cases on the Internet.

After the trial, Egan said she and her daughter had always been very close. She said her daughter stayed in the hospital with her for almost three months after she was hit by a truck.

"She was my best friend; we were together our whole lives," Egan said.

Now that the trial is over, Egan said she wants to stay close to the church.

"IÂ'm just going to be with God and live more of a spiritual life rather than a worldly life," Egan said. "I just learned the bible in jail and I love it."

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