Varela, not guilty, leaves jail and heads home

FRESNO, Calif.

Jurors took a day of deliberating to acquit 49-year-old Jack Varela of murdering Daniel Cabrera. Jack Varela walked out of the Fresno County Jail Friday night a free man. Varela was in jail for 9 months after he fatally shot his brother in law Daniel Cabrera during a family scuffle last Memorial Day.

Varela, acquitted defendant said, "I can't believe it's taking this long to let me out of here, but I mean, I'm just glad to be out, I'm just glad to be out."

Hours before his release the 49-year-old was inside the Fresno County courtroom, wiping away tears after learning he had been cleared on all charges including first and second degree murder.

During the trial Varela's attorney told the court this was a case of self-defense. Toxicology results showed Cabrera was under the influence of meth at the time of the incident.

"I never lied about anything, I told the truth the whole time, so I was just glad it turned out the way it did and I'm glad our justice system works the way it does because I put my faith in god and the faith in the justice system and it worked," Varela said.

But Cabrera's death has split the family after the verdict was read Cabrera's family stormed out of the courtroom upset with the outcome. Although Varela says he's deeply sorry for what happened he doesn't think the family can be reconciled.

"I love them and I forgive them for the things they said about me. They're my sister, and my nephews and my nieces," Varela said.

Outside the jail Varela's wife and kids were there to greet the acquitted man.

The defendant's wife, Mary Varela said, "I'm just happy to have my husband home, and I knew good and right was going to conquer if we could make it through the system."

As for Varela he just says he's ready to move on with his life.

"I just want to get back to work, get my life back, the way it was, and hug my kids and my family, man that's all I want to do," Varela said.

And Varela is back at home with his wife and five kids. Again, he says he's sorry for what happened but is ready to put this behind him.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.