A Pierce County jury on Wednesday acquitted a 53-year-old man of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Dana Beaudine outside a Spanaway tavern six years ago.
Carl Smith was expected to be released Wednesday evening from the Pierce County Jail. He had been in custody since his arrest in spring 2008.
Smith’s attorney, Les Tolzin, said jurors did not believe prosecutors had made their case against Smith, who was accused of stabbing Beaudine to death during a fight outside the Bull’s Eye Sports Lounge on April 5, 2008.
Prosecutors said in court documents that Smith and three other men attacked Beaudine, 38, after he made a disparaging remark about a motorcycle club with which they were affiliated.
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Smith and his co-defendants argued that they defended themselves against Beaudine after he started a fight.
It was the second trial for Smith. He and his co-defendants were found guilty of murder in Beaudine’s death in 2009 and were sentenced to prison, 35 years in Smith’s case.
That trial was long and contentious, with supporters of the defendants arguing even after the convictions that the men had been railroaded.
The Washington State Court of Appeals threw out their convictions in 2012, ruling they didn’t get a fair trial.
The other three defendants then made deals with prosecutors that resulted in them being given credit for time served if they testified against Smith, but it wasn’t enough for the prosecution to win a conviction.
“Carl’s quite happy,” Tolzin said.