March 05, 2014 - 9:12 AM
PENTICTON -- Joshua Pio wiped tears from his eyes as he sat in the prisoner’s box in Penticton Supreme Court after a jury found him not guilty.
Pio’s mother, who sat behind him in the gallery every day of his trial, burst into tears when she learned her son won't go to jail for stabbing Dwayne Gabriel in a bar fight on New Years' Eve 2012.
Pio, 24, was acquitted of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. He told jurors he carried a knife for self defence, specifically in case he came across Gabriel, who he said beat up Pio several times before.
Upon leaving the courtroom, Pio told reporters he is very happy the jury came through and heard his story.
The jury spent a week hearing varied accounts of what happened. Gabriel said Pio was the aggressor that night but Pio said the two men had a history going back to high school and he was beaten up several times by Gabriel.
Gabriel was charged as a youth in 2002 for assault during high school in Lethbridge, Alberta. The jury was told by Judge Allan Betton that face could help them decide to what degree they believed Gabriel’s testimony.
The three-woman, nine-man jury appears to have sided with Pio's claims of self defence.
To contact the reporter for this story, e-mail Meaghan Archer at email@example.com, or call 250-488-3065.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014