FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno landlord accused of murder walked free from the Fresno County jail Wednesday afternoon.
Action News cameras were rolling as Ira Gordon Lewis stepped out of jail for the first time in four months.
Just hours earlier, the 80-year-old was shackled and used a wheelchair in court.
Then, a jury said he was not guilty of murdering his former tenant.
"I'm a free man," Lewis told Action News. "I'm a free man."
Prosecutors alleged that he killed Michael Brady during an altercation over unpaid rent in May.
When Lewis took the stand last Friday, he told the jury he shot Brady three times but said he acted in self-defense after an angry Brady approached him with a wrench.
"He raised his hand so that I would be able to see that he had a weapon in his hand," Lewis told the jury on Friday. "And he started to approach me."
Four months to the day since the shooting, the jury sided with Lewis.
"We the jury, in the above and titled action, find the defendant Ira Gordon Lewis not guilty of first-degree murder of Michael Patrick Brady," the Fresno County Superior Court clerk read aloud.
It was an emotional moment in court after a tense trial. As the clerk read the second not-guilty verdict, she was interrupted. One of Brady's daughters shouted an emotional and vulgar phrase at the jury.
Moments later, Action News caught up with her outside the courthouse. She and her family said the jury got it wrong and expressed concerns that Lewis could kill another tenant.
But the 80-year-old's public defender, Keegan Smith, told Action News he has no concerns about the community's safety following his client's release.
"The jury determined he was acting in self-defense," Smith said. "That's not a threat to any community."
"I hope he enjoys the rest of his retirement," he added later. "He's earned it."
After the verdict, the District Attorney's Office provided a statement to Action News.
"While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury's decision and thank them for their service."
If convicted, Lewis faced 50 years or more in prison.