FORD COUNTY, Kan. – A Dodge City jury has found Brock Cunningham not guilty on charges of child abuse and murder.

Cunningham was accused of killing 3-year-old Natalie Pickle in 2008.

He told police the little girl fell off of the bed, but doctors said Pickle’s injuries were severe, not something caused by a fall or minor accident.

Attorney Dan Monnat says Brock Cunningham shed tears of joy after the verdict and wants to focus on spending quality time with his family.

Monnat felt the strongest evidence in the case, was Cunningham’s own testimony. He told jurors he did not kill Natalie.

“You know sometimes we’re not that confident, but on this case we felt that Brock was so clearly innocent as shown by every piece of evidence involved in the case,” Monnat said. “Including the two lie detector tests he passed.”

Family described Natalie Pickle as a bundle of joy with a big smile and head full of curly red hair. The three-year old died in November 2008, from what doctors say was blunt force trauma.

Family says she was in the care of Cunningham, who was the boyfriend of Natalie’s mother at the time.

Charges were not field in this case until 2013. That’s when a new Ford County attorney took office and issued an arrest warrant for Cunningham.

Ford County Judge Leigh Hood said Cunningham cannot be charged again in the case.

“I think right now what he really wants to do is spend some quality, carefree time with his wife and children,” Monnat added. “I’m sure he has been stressed out to the maximum especially in the last few months.”

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KWCH TV – By Anne Meyer