A jury in the Melbourne Supreme Court yesterday found Traralgon resident William Scriven not guilty of murdering Wayne Glenn Bayley.
Mr Scriven, 35, was accused of the fatal stabbing of 32 year-old Mr Bayley during a fight between the pair on 22 December, 2012.
Prosecutor Michele Williams QC told the jury in her opening statements on 10 February it was established Mr Scriven had stabbed Mr Bayley, but the jury had to determine whether Mr Scriven intended to kill or seriously injure, or whether it was self defence.
“We say he killed a man by the name of Wayne Bayley intending to kill him at the time or cause him really serious injury when he inflicted the fatal blows as he did,” Ms Williams said.
“We say, and we’ll prove, that he had no lawful justification or excuse for doing that.”
However, the defence argued the prosecution case did not show an intent to kill or cause serious injury.
Defence lawyer Ruth Shann asked the jury in her closing statements to consider the circumstances of the fight.
“When you look at that moment, can you say you are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that (Mr Scriven) did not believe it was necessary to do what he did to avoid really serious injury?” Ms Shann asked.
The jury acquitted Mr Scriven of one count of murder and alternate charges in relation to manslaughter, following a three-week trial.