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A Salt Lake County jury acquitted David James "D.J." Bell (pictured) of kidnapping and burglary charges on Friday, ending a bizarre case in which he and his partner were severely beaten by their neighbors after Bell brought two children from a loud drinking party next door to sleep at his house.
An eight-person jury found Bell not guilty of the charges brought by his neighbor, Lulu Latu, who discovered her 2-year-old daughter and 4-year-old nephew in his home after a rowdy Fourth of July celebration concluded at her house in 2008, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
"The 3rd District Court jury of five men and three women took less than three hours to acquit Bell of two counts of first-degree felony child kidnapping and one count of second-degree felony burglary," reported The Salt Lake Tribune.
After the children were discovered in Bell's home, relatives returned and severely beat Bell and his partner, Daniel Fair. Bell's defense attorneys maintained that the case was better understood as a hate crime against Bell and Fair.
The Salt Lake County district attorney's office may consider assault and burglary charges against Bell and Fair's attackers, now that the kidnapping and burglary case against Bell has concluded.