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Ex-lawyer found not guilty in shooting

In this file photo, attorney Jon Pettis, left and his client David "Chip" Venie,, listen to the prosecutor's opening statements during the 1st day of the trial. Venie on Monday was found not guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon aggravated battery in connection with the August 2012 shooting of Stephen Biddinger.

In this file photo, attorney Jon Pettis, left and his client David “Chip” Venie,, listen to the prosecutor’s opening statements during the 1st day of the trial. Venie on Monday was found not guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon aggravated battery in connection with the August 2012 shooting of Stephen Biddinger.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The convoluted criminal case of Albuquerque attorney David Chipman “Chip” Venie ended today with a jury finding him not guilty in the shooting injury of a Stephen Biddinger.

Venie’s trial looped through numerous avenues of defense in each of the three attempts to previously try him. On the first, he successfully challenged a grand jury indictment, then a second attempt ended in a mistrial in the summer 2015 and now a trial ended with Monday’s not guilty verdict.

Venie, after the mistrial, was barred from representing himself against charges of aggravated battery.

Prosecutors said he shot Biddinger in 2012 after the man entered his law office. Venie has said he was protecting himself, his wife and colleagues from a man who was getting aggressive after being asked to leave.

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Biddinger was shot in femoral artery but survived. He is now in jail on charges unrelated to the incident.

After seven hours of deliberation, including lunch provided by taxpayers, the jury found him not guilty Monday afternoon.

This story has been updated to reflect that Venie still practices law.

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