A man accused of beating a fellow transient to death in Missoula has been acquitted of murder but convicted of misdemeanor assault. A jury deliberated for about 2 ½ hours Friday before finding 41-year-old Raymond Big Beaver guilty of assault in the April 12, 2010, attack on 46-year-old Johnny Joe Belmarez. District Judge Dusty Deschamps released Big Beaver after sentencing him to six months in jail and giving him credit for time he's already served, nearly 16 months in jail. Big Beaver testified he slapped Belmarez once and punched him twice in the head before leaving. His attorneys argued he never wanted to seriously injure or kill Belmarez and pointed to testimony that Belmarez' blood-alcohol level was more than five times the legal driving limit and he had a history of head injuries.

Story from AP