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New evidence prompts DA to dismiss charges against man accused in 2020 murder

In July of 2020, detectives arrested 26-year-old Jared Naranjo for the murder of Frederick Rice. Authorities now believe that was done in self defense.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A man on trial for murder has been released due to new and crucial evidence proving the defendant's claim of self defense. 

It was in July of 2020 when police were called to Mokry Drive near Carroll Lane and Gollihar Road at around 3:30 a.m. That's where they found Frederick Rice suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Detectives eventually arrested 26-year-old Jared Naranjo for the murder. 

Naranjo's murder trial began this week, but prosecutors discovered new evidence that they said backed up Naranjo's claim of self defense.

Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez spoke with 3News by telephone about that new evidence, which the Corpus Christi Police Department had retrieved during a phone dump -- information the DA's office said it never had before the case went to trial.

"What we found that was revealed on the phone dump was very reasonable that that's what occurred, and we didn't have that information prior to trial," Gonzalez said.

Naranjo's attorney Chris Gale said that while his client believed the jury was going to find him not guilty, he's glad the State did the right thing. He also wishes there was some way he could get back the past year of his life, which was spent behind bars.

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