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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois jury has acquitted an East St. Louis man of murder charges linked to the stabbing death of his nephew during a Fourth of July party last year.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports the St. Clair County jury deliberated about six hours Wednesday before finding 56-year-old Jimmy Davis not guilty of first-degree murder.

Davis had claimed he stabbed 29-year-old Demetric Dowell of East St. Louis in self-defense.

Authorities have said Dowell was at Davis' home for a holiday celebration when a fight began.

The county's state's attorney, Brendan Kelly, says he respects the jury's hard work and decision. He declined to comment further.

Information from: Belleville News-Democrat

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