GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Nathan Ryan, walks away a free man.
"They saw the truth and they acted right on it, and I'm just so happy," says Ryan's mother, Virginia Ryan.
On Friday the jury found Ryan not guilty on all charges in connection to the murder of Kyle Free. Ryan was originally charged for helping in the removal of the body of Kyle Free, a Clifton man who was killed in 2018. Today he was found innocent of tampering with physical evidence, accessory to a crime and abuse of a corpse.
Free had been reported missing back in April of 2018, his body wasn't discovered until December. He was found buried on the Mesa. Ryan's mother says Rebecca Walker and Timothy Russman both testified during the four-day trial. Ryan was the last to testify before the jury went into deliberation.
"That's why he needed to testify, so they could see what kind of person he was," says his mother.
In a statement, Kyle Free's mother says: "Our family is saddened at the verdict but we also trust our justice system. I am not angry about the outcome and I am happy for his family that they get Mr. Ryan back. It is our goal to focus on getting Mr. Russman convicted. I will fight for the maximum sentence and see he serves a very long time in prison. My apologies to the Ryan family."
Nathan Ryan's mother has been maintaining his innocence from the beginning: "We rebuild our lives. Because this has been terrible," says his mother.
Today marks the reunion with her son: "I thank that jury from the bottom of my heart. They freed my son so I can touch him again, and take him home," says his mother.
After the trial, District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said in a statement: "We are disappointed with the verdict, but respect the time and attention the jury put into the case. We intend to pursue prosecution of the co-defendants as we previously planned."