Madison, Wisconsin

From Madison.com of October 27, 2007

Jury acquits State Street shooter

Even though he shot and killed a man during a drunken fight on State Street on May 22, Daniel Kelly left the courtroom Friday night a free man, found not guilty of first-degree reckless homicide.

Public defender Dennis Burke successfully argued that on the night when 23-year-old Austin Bodahl died from a gunshot wound to his chest, Kelly, an Army and National Guard veteran, had fired in self-defense.

Kelly’s father, Steve Kelly, appeared relieved but subdued as he left the court late Friday after the jury announced its verdict.

“About all I can say is it’s been a tragedy for both families,” he said. “The Bodahls are very nice people.

“I would hope that society would treat young men who are a little different with a little more respect,” he added. “This fight should have been stopped by people long before it got to this point.”

The jury’s verdict came after jurors deliberated through part of the afternoon and all of the evening. After it was announced, Steve Kelly said his son was planning to leave Madison to see his grandmother in North Carolina.

The case centered around a nighttime fight on State Street that erupted after Kelly encountered three drunken young men whose lives, like Kelly’s, were largely untethered. Jurors were to decide, as instructed by Dane County Circuit Judge Daniel Moeser, whether Kelly, 31, caused Bodahl’s death through “criminally reckless conduct” that showed “utter disregard for human life,” or whether Kelly used force likely to cause death because he reasonably believed that such force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself.

(Much More)

From Chicago’s WLS of October 27, 2007

Man cleared in fatal shooting in Madison

A man has been acquitted in the shooting death of the son of a former Minnesota state legislator during a fight last spring.

A Dane County jury deliberated nine hours before announcing its decision in the trial of 31-year-old Daniel A. Kelly late Friday.

He was charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Austin Bodahl of Waconia, Minnesota in a late-night fight on May 22. Kelly was accused of taking a gun from a homemade holster under a kilt he was wearing and shooting Bodahl on Madison’s State Street.

Bodahl was the son of former Minnesota state Rep. Larry Bodahl. He had moved to Madison just weeks before his death.

Kelly’s attorney, assistant public defender Dennis Burke, had argued in the trial that Kelly shot Bodahl in self-defense.

But prosecutors argued Kelly did not take reasonable steps to avoid the fight with Bodahl.

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