LADYSMITH, Wis. (WEAU) -- After a nine-day trial, 27-year-old Thomas Martin was found not guilty of killing his ex girlfriend's father. The judge read the jury's verdict Tuesday night after about four and a half hours of deliberation.
Martin looked overwhelmed by the verdict as an ambulance was called in following the reading. Family members say it was him reacting to 17 months of stress that was finally able to be released.
Martin's trial began last Monday in Rusk County court. Martin was found not guilty of first degree intentional homicide and not guilty of first degree reckless homicide.
In April 2016, prosecutors say officers responded to a report of a fight at an apartment. Investigators found Richard Larson lying on the floor with a deep stab wound on his back. He later died at the hospital.
The defense said Martin only acted out of fear of serious bodily harm so the stabbing was justified.
The prosecution, though, argued Martin knew he wasn't in serious danger.
Neither side would go on camera after the verdict was read. However, Martin's family says while happy with the verdict, there are really no winners in this case.
While an ambulance was called to the courthouse for Martin after the verdict was read, he did not need to go to the hospital for further treatment.
LADYSMITH, Wis. (WEAU) -- A jury found Thomas Martin not guilty of first degree intentional homicide and not guilty of first degree reckless homicide in the death of his ex-girlfriend's father.
The jury began deliberating around 3 p.m. Tuesday and the verdict was read shortly before 8 p.m.
LADYSMITH, Wis. (WEAU) -- The jury now has the case of a Ladysmith man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend's dad.
The trial for Thomas Martin, 27, in Rusk County Court began last Monday. He’s charged with 1st-Degree Intentional Homicide. The jury began deliberations around 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Prosecutors say officers responded to a report of a fight at an apartment in April 2016. Investigators found Richard Larson lying on the floor with a deep stab wound on his back. He later died at the hospital. The defense says Larson was in protective “daddy mode” after Martin threw a glass candle near his daughter which caused him to then attack Martin. The defense says Martin only acted out of fear of serious bodily harm so the stabbing was justified. However, the prosecution says Martin knew he was never in any serious danger, saying Martin was enraged he was being told to move out of his then girlfriend's apartment, and knew his actions towards Larson would result in severe injury.
"There is no indication that when the knife stabbed Mr. Larson there was any attempt to do any kind of significant damage with it in the wound,” said Michael R. Cohen, defense attorney.
"Anybody takes something that big and plunges it into somebodies back, that tells you what their intent is. It isn't to ward somebody off holding you by the hand or the hair or spinning them around in a room; it's a killer,” said Albert David Moustakis, a special prosecutor with the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
Court records show Martin entered a not guilty plea in July 2016. When the jury reaches a verdict, we'll let you know in this story.