BREAKING: Verdict Announced in Stockley Murder Trial

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2017 file photo, activists gather outside the St. Louis courthouse where former police officer Jason Stockley's murder trial was heard. The mayor of St. Louis says the city is "on edge" as it awaits a verdict in the first-degree murder trial of former police officer Stockley, in part because of a troubled history of justice in the region and nationwide. It isn't clear when Judge Timothy Wilson will issue a verdict. Activists have threatened civil disobedience if Stockley, who is white, is acquitted in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black. (AP Photo/Jim Salter,File)

Local news stations are reporting that St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Timothy Wilson has rendered a “Not Guilty” verdict in the Jason Stockley murder trial, which I discussed here yesterday. The Judge issued a 30-page ruling, a copy of which can be read here.  Al Watkins, the attorney for Anthony Lamar Smith’s fiancee, acknowledged Judge Wilson’s professionalism but said he finds the ruling “appalling….The family is sorely disappointed. The community will be appropriately sorely disappointed.”

Multiple law enforcement agencies are present in and around the St. Louis area.  Helicopters can be heard over the downtown area.  There are already people gathering, marching arm-in-arm on Market Street in downtown St. Louis, near the courthouse.

The Courts and several local schools are closed today as a precaution in light of anticipated unrest. Some downtown offices were prepared to close early, anticipating the verdict would be announced this afternoon.

We’ll update with any further developments.