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Beauty queen acquitted of murdering boyfriend

By Chris O'Connell
Court TV

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SAVANNAH, Georgia (Court TV) -- A Georgia jury acquitted a former beauty queen of murder in the fatal shooting of her boyfriend outside the home of another woman.

The nine women and three men arrived at their verdict after eight and a half hours of deliberations at the Chatham County Courthouse in downtown Savannah.

Sharron "Nikki" Redmond, Miss Savannah 2003 and a high-school teacher, would have faced life in prison without parole if she had been convicted of murder and aggravated assault.

Wearing a black dress and the black-and-white-striped shawl she donned on the stand, Redmond, 23, wiped away tears with a tissue as she received the verdict.

The parents and relatives of the victim, Kevin Shorter, shook their heads in apparent disbelief, and some shed tears.

Redmond was initially charged with aggravated assault for shooting Shorter in the buttocks on December 16.

She was charged with murder when Shorter, whose femoral artery was severed by the bullet, died in the hospital three days later.

Prosecutors alleged that Redmond went to the house of Shorter's fiancée, Rachel Hall, to confront her about her relationship with the former Division 1 football player.

But when Shorter insulted Redmond and called her names, the pageant winner became enraged, prosecutors said, and shot him.

Redmond's lawyers argued, however, that their client feared for her life as an irate Shorter threatened her. She fired a warning shot in his direction and it ricocheted off his car, they said.

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