Officer Lee Jordan

Defense attorney Jared Perkins, left, Lee Jordan and defense attorney Eric Perkins.

This story has been updated. To read the updated version, click here.

REFUGIO — After less than 30 minutes of deliberation, jurors found a Refugio police officer not guilty Wednesday afternoon of injuring an infant.

Earlier on Wednesday, the defense rested its case in the morning after calling three witnesses in the trial of Refugio police officer Lee Jordan, who was accused of injuring an infant with pepper spray last year. Closing arguments began in the early afternoon. 

Jordan had been charged with injury to a child, a state jail felony that would have revoked his state peace officer's license if convicted. The charge also carried a jail sentence of 180 days to two years, as well as up to a $10,000 fine. 

On Tuesday, the first day of testimony, prosecutors called a number of witnesses,  including the infant's mother, who said the pepper spray splattered and injured her child.

Earlier Wednesday, the defense called two EMTs who were dispatched to the location where Jordan pepper sprayed Michael Paredes, who was driving a vehicle carrying his 3-day-old son and the child's mother. 

Jordan was cleared of recklessly using the pepper spray and injuring the infant.

One of the EMTs testified he assessed the infant and found no sign of injury. That EMT described the infant as "fairly relaxed" at the time. 

The third defense witness, use-of-force expert Jerry Staton, said he concluded Jordan had acted reasonably. Staton said he had viewed Jordan's body camera video and reviewed witnesses statements. 

"I thought he was extremely reserved," Staton said.

This is a developing report. Please check back at VictoriaAdvocate.com later for updates.

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Jon Wilcox is the local editor for the Victoria Advocate. Jon is a former Advocate crime and courts reporter. He may be reached jwilcox@vicad.com or 361-580-6515.

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Jon works in the Victoria Advocate newsroom, editing and working with a team of journalists. He also occasionally writes.

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