One of the longest criminal trials in Texas history pitted Zemmie Foreman and Douglas Bergman against District Attorney J.W. Simpson.
Simpson drafted two Lufkin lawyers to serve as special prosecutors.
The trial was held in Livingston just 45 days after Veal’s death.
The prosecution’s star witness was a high school teenager who watched the shooting from a picture window of the furniture store.
The defense countered with testimony from Hunter’s baby sister who told jurors that Veal had threatened her life many times over the preceding 15 years.
One piece of physical evidence was a bullet defect in Hunter’s truck that witnesses said was put there by Veal the day before Veal died.
Another former brother-in-law testified that he heard Veal announce he was going to kill Hunter Bergman.
The jury had heard from 84 witnesses over the 29 days in the courtroom. Nevertheless, they came back with a verdict in just an hour and a half.
One side of the courtroom celebrated while the other wept when the “not guilty” announcement came.