An Erath County jury found Joseph Lee Garner not guilty Thursday of indecency with a child.
Moments after the verdict was read in the 266th Judicial District Court, Garner's mother said, "Thank you God," in the courtroom.
Garner's court appointed attorney, Blake Thompson, said his client was relieved with the verdict.
"Needless to say, he was pleased with the result," Thompson said Thursday. "He has been waiting a long time for his day in court."
But Garner is by no means a free man. He is still incarcerated in the Erath County Jail, held on two additional counts of indeceny with a child.
Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash said he was disappointed with the outcome of the trial, but is now going to focus on the upcoming cases against Garner.
"Of course we're disappointed with the verdict. Today a guilty man was found not guilty," Nash said. "This doesn't mean we are going to stop trying to protect the children of this community. We're going to keep working to keep guys like this off the streets."
Family and friends of the victim were also disappointed with the verdict.
"Regardless of the verdict, all parties involved know the truth," said the mother of the victim. "He will get what's coming to him. There are still other charges pending and hopefully the evidence will be sufficient to find him guilty. Most importantly, the ultimate judgement will come to him in time."
Other family members said they were not surprised with the verdict after sitting in the courtroom for the past three days. With the case behind them, they said they hope the child-victim can begin the healing process.
Thompson said he credits the jury for basing their decision on what was presented in the courtroom rather than what they might have heard about the case through other sources. Thompson has been appointed to represent Garner in the two additional cases involving a second charge of indecency with a child by exposure and failure to register as a sex offender.