Lee Evans acquitted of murdering 5 Newark teens

NEWARK - A New Jersey man has been acquitted of killing five teenagers who went missing in 1978 in what was one of the state's longest-running cold cases.

A jury in Newark today found Lee Evans not guilty of 10 murder-related counts in the deaths of the teens, whose bodies were never found.

Evans represented himself in the case and denied killing the boys. Several family members of the victims who attended the trial said Evans had long been the main suspect in the teens' disappearance.

Prosecutors sought to prove Evans killed the boys in retaliation for a drug theft.

A key witness testified that he helped Evans lure the boys 33 years ago to a vacant Newark home and trap them in a closet. He claimed Evans then set the house on fire.

AP wire services contributed to this report.

Suspect in 1978 teen killings gives opening statement Families hope for justice in 1978 disappearance of 5 boys Bail lowered for man accused in 1978 murder of 5 Newark teens 2 men charged with 1978 murders due in court Men plead not guilty to murders of Newark boys 2 men charged with killing 5 Newark teens in 1978

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