The trial of Jason Trickett, who was accused in the stabbing death of Andy Smith in Bangor last year, wrapped up twelve days ago.
Monday afternoon, Justice William Anderson was back with his verdict.
The judge reviewed the evidence and testimony, and interviews with police.
He said the unreliability of the witnesses and inconsistencies in some of their testimony made it difficult to determine what truly happened.
The judge said Trickett never told officers he stabbed Smith in self defense or in the defense of two women who were fighting with Smith in the middle of First Street.
But, he said the State never proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Trickett did *not* act in self defense.
“Mr. Smith was about to use unlawful deadly force against him or a third party and I’m also finding that under the circumstances, there was no opportunity to retreat, including the physical condition of the defendant, so the end result of the analysis is that I am finding the defendant not guilty of manslaughter.”
“Probably the hardest part was that he gave so many statements to the police,” said defense attorney Marvin Glazier. “While they were consistent, there were a lot of them, and that made it a little harder to parse out what his reasoning was but he was consistent about Mr. Smith coming at him with the board.”
Trickett is now free after spending the last 16 months in jail..
Family members of of Andy Smith left the courtroom in tears and did not want to talk about the verdict.