MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — A West Texas man was acquitted of murder Wednesday in the 2019 fatal shooting of a police officer who was shot while checking a security alarm at the man’s home.
A Midland County jury deliberated for about 90 minutes before finding David Wilson not guilty of murder in the death of Midland police Officer Nathan Heidelberg.
Wilson’s attorneys had told jurors that he didn’t know Heidelberg was a police officer, mistook him for an intruder and shot him in self-defense in the predawn hours of March 5, 2019.
Prosecutors offered evidence showing Heidelberg, a five-year police veteran, identified himself as a police officer while still outside the home's front door.
But defense attorneys noted that Wilson hid in a closet in fear of a burglar. They said a Texas Ranger and a police trainee with Heidelberg could not rule out the possibility that Wilson did not hear Heidelberg identify himself as an officer.
Wilson had initially been charged with second-degree manslaughter, but a Midland County grand jury upgraded the charge to murder.