Jesse Lloyd did not murder Kenneth Patterson on March 13, 2016, according to the verdict of a Chippewa County jury Tuesday — but the 12 jurors did convict the 23-year-old of conspiring to commit armed robbery and possessing a firearm as a felon.
A jury of six men and six women deliberated for roughly three hours Tuesday, the sixth day of the trial, before returning the verdict.
They found Lloyd not guilty of first-degree intentional homicide.
Lloyd did not visibly react as Judge James Isaacson read the verdict at 8 p.m.
“I respect the verdict from the jury,” Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell said. “I just appreciate that they found him guilty of the serious charge of armed robbery.”
Lloyd faces a maximum sentence of 25 years on the armed robbery charge, Newell said.
“I don’t know why I wouldn’t request less than what Mr. LaBrec received,” Newell said.
LaBrec was sentenced in 2017 to 20 years in prison for armed robbery-use of force in the same incident that Lloyd was charged in.
Prosecutors contended Lloyd, 23, shot and killed Kenneth Patterson of Eau Claire on March 13, 2016, in the town of Eagle Point after Patterson ripped off Lloyd’s close friend LaBrec in an earlier drug deal.
Lloyd’s attorney, Aaron Nelson, argued LaBrec is lying, pulled the trigger himself, then blamed Lloyd.
During more than two hours of closing arguments Tuesday, Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell urged the jury to examine the evidence and look for the truth.
Multiple pieces of evidence connect Lloyd to the .380-caliber handgun that was used to shoot Patterson, Newell said.
“Your search is for the truth, not for doubt,” Newell said. “In making that evaluation, it’s a lot easier to tear down a house than it is to build it.”
Lloyd’s attorney Aaron Nelson said the issue of the case is finding the real person who really shot Patterson.
“The only version we have of any plan is what Matthew LaBrec says,” Nelson said. “Matthew LaBrec admitted to you he intended to deceive someone.”
LaBrec and Lloyd set up a meeting with Patterson on March 13, 2016 near midnight, LaBrec testified, telling the man it was a drug deal but intending to rob $325 from the man.
When Patterson was in a town of Eagle Point backyard, LaBrec heard Lloyd fire his gun, LaBrec testified, then remembered Patterson running away.
A bullet from a handgun entered Patterson’s right thigh and exited two inches lower than the entry wound. The wound eventually killed Patterson, Chippewa County Coroner Ron Patten testified earlier in the trial.
Isaacson revoked Lloyd's bond and ordered a pre-sentence investigation.
Lloyd’s mother Angela Rands declined to comment on the verdict.
A sentencing date for Lloyd has not yet been set.