Thursday, March 6, 2008

Man acquitted of murder in Whyte Avenue stabbing

Man acquitted of murder in Whyte Avenue stabbing Last Updated: Friday, February 29, 2008 5:07 PM MT CBC News A young Edmonton man wiped away tears Friday as the Court of Queen's Bench found him not guilty of second-degree murder in the 2005 death of another man behind a Whyte Avenue car wash. Justice Brian Burrows ruled that James Harrison, 23, was defending himself when he stabbed Kevin Kozicki, 28, seven times in summer 2005. The Whyte Avenue car wash where Kevin Kozicki was fatally stabbed in June 2005.(CBC) The incident began as an argument along the popular nightclub strip in the early hours of June 13 and continued as Kozicki and some of his friends followed Harrison and some others into a back alley near 105th Street and 82 Avenue. "I am satisfied that Mr. Harrison subjectively apprehended that in an attack by Mr. Kozicki, he would be in danger of being killed or suffering grievous bodily harm," the judge wrote, noting Kozicki was eight inches taller, 50 pounds heavier and eight years older than the accused. "I am also satisfied his apprehension was in the circumstances objectively reasonable." Victim's family 'shocked' at verdict Outside court Friday, the victim's family said the justice system failed them. "We are absolutely shocked," Kozicki's mother, Lee, said. "Yes, our son was drunk. But what has happened here today is this judge has said, 'If you're tall and you get drunk on Whyte Avenue, it is okay for somebody to stab you, not once but seven times,'" she said. Harrison was found guilty of obstructing a peace officer but will not face any added jail time because he has been in the Edmonton Remand Centre for more than a year.

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