MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — A jury has acquitted a North Dakota man on trial in the 1993 killing of a Minnesota woman.

Jurors Tuesday acquitted 46-year-old Clarence Burcham of Center, N.D., on charges of first- and second-degree murder.

The Forum newspaper reports the verdict came after nearly two full days of deliberations.

Burcham was accused in the death of Sharon Stafford in a Moorhead mobile home park. Burcham wasn’t charged until two years ago, when police say he admitted in an interview with a cold-case detective to strangling his 26-year-old neighbor with an electrical cord after she called him retarded.

Prosecutor Heidi Davies argued Burcham had been implicating himself from the moment he reported Stafford’s death.

The defense countered that with the pressure police put on Burcham, a “trumped up” confession was inevitable.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  1. zee the reporter says:

    this is a bad cold case investigation from the start! zee reporting.

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