PETERSBURG, Va. – It has been nine months former Petersburg fire marshal Marlow Jones will never forget.
“I had to fight for my dignity, I had to fight for my freedom, my job and my livelihood," said Jones, who spent almost two decades with the Petersburg Fire Department.
The lower courts nolle prosequi (formal decision not to prosecute) the shooting charge and convicted him of misdemeanor brandishing, a conviction he would appeal.
“The outcome was, I was found not guilty by a jury today," said Jones.
Friday morning, nine months after being charged, Jones was acquitted of brandishing by a Petersburg jury.
Jones says the verdict vindicates him, adding that he never pulled the weapon on the men, he just had it on his side.
"All I know is that somebody was stealing my vehicle," Jones told CBS 6 in April of 2017. "We've had that kind of stuff in this neighborhood -- so I come out with my weapon on my side."
"They told the department I shot at them and I pointed the gun. There's no evidence of that," Jones argued Friday.
Now jones will take aim at the City of Petersburg in the hopes of getting his job back.
The former fire marshal said he's already working with new leadership, the city manager and human resource manager, to clear his name and get back on "a" job as soon as possible.
"Because of the verdict, if not get my job back, at least place me somewhere that's less hostile. A place where I can continue to serve my city," added Jones.
Jones says the legal battle cost him more than $50,000, but it was worth every penny if it means it clears his name.