Livonia woman not guilty in shooting of boyfriend said gun fired accidentally

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Nathan Robertson

On Tuesday a young woman was found not guilty for shooting her boyfriend in the head last July.

The jury deliberated about an hour before delivering a not guilty - but the woman, Ann Zarras, is not celebrating.

"There's no winners in this case, just losers," said Henry Scharg, defense attorney. "There are two families that have been devastated by this tragedy and will have emotional scars for the rest of their lives."

The shooting left 18-year-old Nathan Robertson in a vegetative state and it was Zarras, his girlfriend, who pulled the trigger. A Wayne County jury found her not guilty Tuesday on three felony charges that could've landed the 19-year-old in prison for a decade.

"Based upon the evidence that was presented we felt the case should've never been bound over and it should've never went to trial," Scharg said.

It all happened in Ann Zarras' house in Livonia nine months ago. Scharg says Robertson had threatened to kill himself with a revolver in the home the night before - and had taken the gun out the morning the after.

Livonia woman found not guilty of shooting boyfriend in the head
Police: Man shot in the head by girlfriend in Livonia

"Ann's testimony which was the only version of what happened and consistent, was that she had taken the gun out of the drawer to get it away from him," Scharg said. "And at some point in time there was a struggle over the gun and the gun accidentally discharged."

"Two weeks after he graduated he got shot," said Hanna Pilon, Nathan's friend. "It's just like the whole situation doesn't seem real still."

Pilon is Nathan's friend from high school and feels the jury let a guilty woman go free.

"Just thinking about the verdict," she said. "I almost threw up when I found out."

Attorney Terry Johnson focuses on firearms and deadly force law.

"I think it could've gone either way to be honest with you," he said. "There was enough doubt in there. A lot of people talk about the fact her story changed from the first time to the second time.

"In a shooting incident you don't remember things as crisp and clear as you normally would."

"The jury spoke quickly and decisively that this was an accident and that she did not have intent," Scharg said. "And that's what she was charged with, intent to cause great bodily harm."

Zarras avoided prison time, but can still be held civilly liable, her lawyer says the lawsuit has already been filed.

The gun, a revolver, was owned by Zarras' parents and Scharg says the night before the shooting the couple argued about jealousy when Robertson threatened to kill himself.