Jury finds Lufkin man not guilty of sexual assault

Marquis Stewart. Photo Source: Angelina County Jail
Marquis Stewart. Photo Source: Angelina County Jail
Marquis Stewart reunites with family.
Marquis Stewart reunites with family.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County jury has found a Lufkin man not guilty of continuous sexual assault of a child.

After spending 14 months behind bars, Marquis Stewart is now a free man.

"I'm happy to be out and stuff so I can be back out there with my family," said Stewart.

Stewart says he's relieved the jury found him not guilty.

"They looked at all the evidence and stuff and they see I didn't do no wrong. They see I was an innocent man."

The trial was the second for Marquis Stewart, who is mentally disabled, after an April trial ended with a hung jury.

The jury reached Wednesday's verdict after roughly three hours of deliberation.

"It feels great," Stewart said after he was booked out of jail. "I can't wait to spend time with my family now."

Stewart had been in jail since May 2008, as he could not make bond.

"I've just been patient and stuff, keep from getting mad and stuff but I've been ready to get out the first day I came up in here," said Stewart.

He walks out, clothing in hand, ready for a new start.

"I can do anything I want to do at home. Eat what I want to eat. Sleep where I want to sleep and stuff. I don't mind doing time for something I did wrong but I don't like to do time for something I didn't do wrong."

Reuniting with family makes for an ever sweeter victory.

"It feels good, real good. I'm happy for him," said Stewart's sister, Shereca Harrell.

"I miss him from being out with the family on holidays and being with him every day. So now since he's home and free we're getting away from here and starting all over. Starting life over again," said Stewart's mother Angelia Barnes.

After two trials, and months of waiting, this family is glad it's finally over.

"I didn't want to go up in there and sit up in there because, you know, I was kind of nervous and everything but I know God has his back," said Barnes. "Yeah justice done good."

"I just keep the Lord on my side until the day I die," said Stewart.

We contacted the prosecuting attorney, Tony Latino, but were unable to reach him for comment following the verdict.

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