Connelly 'not guilty' of murder
AT 2.50pm on Friday, Grant Kelly Connelly heard the words he'd longed for: 'not guilty' of murder.
A Coffs Harbour Supreme Court trial jury delivered the verdict on day two of its deliberations.
Connelly, 36, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Moonee Beach man Andrew William Walker, 41, in December, 2005.
But Friday's outcome is not the end of the matter. The jury will regather today to consider a verdict on the statutory alternative to murder - manslaughter.
Justice Megan Latham adjourned the court until then and continued Connelly's bail.
The jury had kicked off its deliberations last Thursday with a request for a copy of the transcript of evidence given by a witness at the trial, Sgt Greg Peronchik.
Justice Latham reconvened the court at 10.30am on Friday and reminded the jury to take care when considering evidence from someone who was recounting what someone had said to them.
"This is what we refer to as hearsay evidence," she said.
Another note from the jury, this time seeking clarification on the issue of self-defence, led to the court reconvening at 1pm.
Justice Latham told the jury self-defence applied where the accused believed that what he did was necessary to defend himself, and that his conduct was a reasonable response.
She also said that when considering self-defence, the jury needed to look at the 'mind of the accused' at the time.
"Take into account the accused was intoxicated, and whether that may have affected his perception of the risk posed by (Mr Walker)."
The court re-assembled and following another address from Justice Latham, the jury returned its verdict, and will reassemble today to continue its deliberations.