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Tonya Craft: Teacher on Trial (Day 22)


Tonya Craft found not guilty on all counts. Follow Callie Starnes and Melydia Clewell on Twitter for coverage from courtroom.

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Updated 6:12pm

Stay with Eyewitness News and for video, complete coverage and analysis of the case.

Updated 5:27pm

Craft's supporters are sobbing on the front lawn.

Craft allowed to leave. She's headed out front door. Jury is being dismissed.


Updated 5:21pm

Tonya Craft found not guilty on all counts

Updated 5:06pm

Confirmed - 25 allowed in for the defense, 39 for the prosecution.

Lt. Guffy standing at metal detector w/ a list of names. If you aren't on the list - you can't go in courtroom.

I can see some of Craft's best friends waiting in line. All are taking deep breaths as if preparing for what is about to happen.

Folks are clogging hallway outside courtroom. The select few that will be allowed in are waiting to go through security.

People are lining the sidewalk across from courthouse, coming out of businesses waiting for signs of verdict.

Craft just walked into the courtroom in between D-Lo and her hubby. Hallway silent as she walks in.

Updated 4:40pm

National media outlets who haven't visited pool room yet are coming in to sit and wait for verdict. 

Judge's assistant says they'll start seating people, a limited # of people. Says we have 20 to 30 minutes until we hear verdict.  

After 22 days ... we will soon know what the future holds for Tonya

We have confirmed THERE IS A VERDICT in Craft trial. Stand by.

Court clerk just went into the courtroom? We are waiting to see if that means we have a verdict. Stand by ...

Update 3:45 p.m.

Still no verdict. It is difficult to know how long the Judge will allow the jury to deliberate today. During most days of the trial, court has dismissed around 5:00 p.m.

Update 2:54 p.m.

Attorneys met in courtroom with judge not long ago. Media not allowed in. Don't know if jury had a question or what. The meeting is now over.

Update 2:30 p.m.

The TODAY Show crew will be staying overnight for more coverage of the Tonya Craft verdict tomorrow.

Update 1:59 p.m.

The jury has been deliberating more than 7 hrs. Only one question so far. Yesterday they asked to see child interview. The judge did not allow. It is against GA state law to allow jurors to review video evidence. They must rely on the transcripts.

Update 1:30 p.m.

Tonya Craft's family members are sitting in the hall of the courthouse working on a list of people they want inside when a verdict is read.

Update 1:25 p.m.

Court officer tells Eyewitness News there will be limits to who is allowed in courtroom during verdict. While we don't have exact numbers confirmed buy Judge Brian House, officers say spill over will be allowed to stand outside the courtroom in the hallway.

Other national media outlets have arrived within the last hour. All the major networks are now represented in Ringgold. Many say they will camp out until the jury reaches a verdict.

Update 1:10 p.m.

Judge Brian House says the limits on how many will be allowed in courtroom have not been finalized.

Update 12:55 p.m.

The jury did not have to leave for lunch. The Court had lunch delivered to them.

Update 12:45 p.m.

Channel 3 has learned that the Judge will limit the number of people in the courtroom. Only 20 supporters of Tonya Craft will be allowed when the verdict is read. We have confirmed Judge House has allotted 13 seats per alleged victim's family. According to WRCB Legal Analyst McCracken Poston, the Judge's limit during verdict is legal as long as the media is not shut out.

Update 12:15 p.m.

They jury is now on a lunch break. No verdict possible within the next hour.

Update 11:45 a.m.

Channel 3 has learned that Tonya Craft is not at the courthouse today. She is at a nearby home. So when there is a verdict, she will be allowed time to return to the courthouse.

Update 11:30 a.m.

The jury makeup is seven men and five women. The alternates are 2 men and one woman.

Update 11:00 a.m.

No update from the jury room. Some viewers have asked our reporters on the trial whether Tonya Craft can receive custody of her children if found not guilty. The answer is not automatically. If she is found not guilty, she would still have to go back to court on custody issues.

Update 10:00 a.m.

The jury deliberation continues. The pool camera and microphone have been removed from the courtroom to prevent the media from overhearing. Presumably, it will be allowed to return for the reading of the verdict.

Update 9:00 a.m.

The jury completed two hours of deliberation on Monday and returned at 9:00 a.m. No. Even if #TonyaCraft is found not guilty of all charges, she will have to go back to court on custody issues.

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