CHICAGO (CBS) — A longtime criminal defense attorney said Monday’s acquittal of a Chicago police officer in the off-duty shooting of an unarmed woman appears to be the result of prosecutors giving the officer a break.

Cook County Judge Dennis Porter ruled prosecutors failed to prove Officer Dante Servin was acting recklessly when he fired into a crowd three years ago, killing 22-year-old Rekia Boyd. He acquitted Servin of all charges without waiting for the defense to present its case.

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A colleague of Porter’s, a fellow judge, said there is no question in his mind Porter’s decision was legally correct. Porter appeared to have a look of disgust on his face as he announced Servin’s acquittal.

“The evidence presented in this case does not support the charges on which the defendant was indicted and tried,” Porter said from the bench. “The crime, if any there be, is first-degree murder.”

Servin said Illinois courts long have held, if a person aims a gun at someone else and fires, it is an intentional act, not a reckless one, even if the bullet strikes someone other than the intended victim.

Criminal defense attorney Bruce Mosbacher, who was not involved in the Servin case, said it was very unusual Servin was charged with involuntary manslaughter, and not first-degree murder.

“The State’s Attorney of Cook County did something very unusual, which is to charge an individual who shot a gun into a crowd with something less than first-degree murder. I haven’t seen that happen,” he said. “That’s very disturbing here, and it should be disturbing, and I can’t say that they were giving this officer a break, but it certainly looks like it.”

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In March 2012, Boyd was standing with a group of people outside Servin’s home in Douglas Park, when he drove by and got into a shouting match with a man in the crowd. He allegedly fired five shots over his shoulder from inside his car, toward a group of people who had their backs to him. One of the bullets struck Boyd in the head.

Servin’s attorneys had argued he was acting in self-defense, after seeing one of the men in the group pull something out of his waistband, and point it at him.

Alvarez defended the decision to charge Servin with involuntary manslaughter, and said she was “extremely disappointed” with Porter’s ruling.

“The State’s Attorney’s Office brought charges in this case in good faith and only after a very careful legal analysis of the evidence as well as the specific circumstances of this crime,” she said in a written statement. “I believe that my office had provided sufficient evidence before the court to not only demonstrate, but also to prove, that Officer Servin’s conduct was clearly reckless in the senseless fatal shooting of Rekia Boyd. Justice was denied today for Rekia Boyd and her family and I extend my deepest sympathies as they struggle to come to terms with this unexpected decision.”

Servin has said the fatal shooting was a tragic accident, and offered his sympathy to Boyd’s family, but said any officer in his position would have reacted the same way he did.

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“I saved my life that night. I’m glad that I’m not a police death statistic,” Servin said after his acquittal.