Looks like the acquital was on firm legal ground. Even if the stolen property issue was ignored, he was claiming lack of intent to kill, that he was shooting at the tire.
The bullet did, apparently, strike the tire and a fragment hit the escort. Supporting his story. No intent, no murder conviction under Texas law.
Now, this could easily be considered reckless, which can qualify for a manslaughter conviction. Which the judge could have let the jury consider. The judge failed to do this.
I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but legally speaking, given what charges presented to the jury and the evidence they had available to consider- acquital was the only option they had. I think the blame should go squarely on the judge for not sending manslaughter in as a lesser included offense.
The stolen property law, while it may or may not have been as much of a factor as most accounts claim, is still a horrible law. Deadly force should be restricted to being a last resort option to protect *life*. Property is not life.