SeMo Man Found Innocent in Bonfire Explosion

October 23, 2003 - Posted at 10:37 a.m. CDT

PERRYVILLE, MO - A southeast Missouri man is found innocent of causing a bonfire explosion that burned 14 people.

A jury needed less than an hour to reach the verdict yesterday after hearing from 30 witnesses during the two-day trial of 23-year-old Jerry Self, Jr. of Millersville.

Self smiled broadly as the verdict was read.  He had been accused of 14 counts of felony assault after police accused him of throwing a five-gallon gasoline container into a bonfire January 17 at a party near Cape Girardeau.

The victims, mostly in thier late teens, suffered severe burns.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.