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Jurors acquitted a man of murder in connection with a conflict at a St. Paul liquor store.

The jury deliberated for 3½ hours before it found Trinis D. Edwards, 50, not guilty in Ramsey County District Court on two counts of second-degree murder for the shooting of Kenneth L. Davis Jr., 44, on the night of Dec. 27 at Big Discount Liquor in the 900 block of Rice Street.

Prosecutors said that a store employee told police that Davis, a regular customer, confronted Edwards about concealing vodka without paying for it, then took the bottle from him.

Edwards said he had a gun and began digging into his backpack, and Davis replied that he had a license and flashed his gun at Edwards, according to the criminal complaint.

The two tussled as they went out the door, and Davis' gun fell to the ground after Edwards pushed him, the charges continued. Edwards picked up the gun, according to the complaint, shot Davis twice and fled without the vodka.

Police interviewed a woman who said she was Edwards' girlfriend, and she told them he shot Davis in self-defense, the complaint read.

A statement issued by the County Attorney's Office after the verdict read, "While we are disappointed in the verdict reached in this case, we respect the work of the jury and accept their decision. The death of Mr. Davis remains a tragedy, and our thoughts are with his family and friends."