Oakland City man acquitted in motel manager’s death

A southwestern Indiana jury has acquitted of murder a 21-year-old man whose attorney argued self-defense in the shooting death of a motel co-manager.

The Gibson Superior Court jury deliberated for more than four hours in Princeton on Wednesday after two days of testimony in the trial of 21-year-old Anthony Christian Hoskins of Oakland City. He was charged with murder in the Feb. 7 shooting death of Steve Hess of Oakland City’s Diplomat Motel.

Hess died in the motel parking lot after Hoskins fired a handgun while Hess followed him outside during a dispute over whether Hoskins’ sister had violated the motel’s policy prohibiting drug use in her room.

The Princeton Daily Clarion reported that when the verdict was read, Hess’ wife, Marion, sat quietly while friends and family shook their heads, some crying.

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