RYAN Edward Dwyer broke out in sobs as a jury found him not guilty of murder yesterday.
After a three-day trial in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton, and more than 20 hours of jury deliberations, Dwyer, 27, was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of the manslaughter of Jayde Biddulph, his childhood friend.
Mr Biddulph died after a jail house fight between the two long-time friends over a woman.
Dwyer's mother Sharyn was in court to hear the verdict and said she was glad the jury had “mercy” on her son.
“I love my son,” Sharyn told reporters outside the court.
“It was a mistake.”
She said she was sorry for Mr Biddulph's family.
“Jayde was a good guy too.”
The fatal fight broke out at the Capricorn Correctional Centre on December 16, 2009, while both men were prisoners.
The court heard that after Dwyer was incarcerated, his partner Darlene McClure took up a relationship with Mr Biddulph.
This upset Dwyer who sent letters to Ms McClure detailing his heartbreak and telling her he would “get rid of him” and that he would pay.
He pleaded with Ms McClure to visit him in prison and to bring their daughter with her.
About three weeks after Mr Biddulph was imprisoned the fight broke out in a secure walkway.
Dwyer told police the next day that he couldn't believe Mr Biddulph was dead and he wished he'd never met Ms McClure.
On Wednesday, the third day of the murder trial, a video-taped interview between Dwyer and detectives on the day after Biddulph's death was played in the Supreme Court at Rockhampton.
Dwyer told police he called Biddulph his “big brother” and they were mates since childhood.
“It was just a fight, I didn't mean for it to happen like that and I'm sorry it did,” Dwyer said in the interview.
His sentence was adjourned for a date to be set.
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