Trio acquitted of stabbing

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Trio acquitted of stabbing

Calgary Herald
By: Daryl Slade

[the accused] had to endure a few more hours in custody after he, his brother and another man were acquitted on Friday of stabbing and pepper spraying a 25-year old man outside Chinook Centre 18 months ago.

But after 18 months behind bars for a crime he insists he did not commit, it was only a minor inconvenience.  [The accused], 27, who had been housed at the Calgary Remand Centre since the Dec. 29, 2005, incident, hugged his parents, four brothers, sister and friends after Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Rosemary Nation acquitted him of attempted murder, aggravated assault, two counts of assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public. He had to return to the holding jail, but only to be officially checked out. 

“I’m so pleased with the decision. I maintained my innocence since Day 1”, [the accused] said through his lawyer David Chow.
“People are convicted because of wrongful identification and it is a miscarriage of justice,” added Chow. “We’ve seen that in the Peter Sophonow and David Milgaard cases.”

[the other accused], who each faced all but the attempted murder charge but had been on bail through the trial, also were acquitted of all charges.  Nation said identification was the primary issue at trial and she had grave concerns about [the victim’s] ability to identify his assailants in the parking lot outside the mall that night, particularly since he was pepper sprayed almost immediately.

“I am concerned about [the victim’s] credibility regarding a fleeting glimpse (of [the accused]),” said Nation. “That leaves me with concerns about reliability of identification of all accused.” [T]he two accused men’s father said it was unfortunate his eldest son had to spend a year and a half at the remand centre. “We’re excited he’s coming home”, he said. “With [him] in detention for that long, it’s been stressful on all of us. You never know until the judge says it.”