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Ringling Brothers Trainer Not Guilty

A star Ringling Brothers circus trainer has been acquitted of a charge he abused an elephant outside a San Jose performance last summer.

A jury deliberated for about two hours before clearing 31-year-old Mark Oliver Gebel, whose defense attorney did not call a single witness. Gebel could have faced six months in jail and a 1-thousand dollar fine.

Gebel allegedly used a straight prong on a hooked stick to jab an elephant named Asia who was moving too slowly into a performance.

A San Jose police sergeant and a Humane Society investigator say they heard Gebel yell and saw him lunge at Asia, though they didn´t see any contact.

Defense attorney James McManis says the witnesses are desperately trying looking for evidence to support their opposition to circuses.