The decision freed Crawford J. Jackson, 58, who spent about eight months in jail awaiting trial.
Mr. Jackson was charged with murder for the Aug. 7 stabbing of Phillip W. Scott.
Mr. Scott, 50, died two days later. The pathologist who performed the autopsy testified that the stab wound pierced the wall of Mr. Scotts intestine and the surgery to repair the injury must have failed.
Assistant Public Defender Bryan Grantham who represented Mr. Jackson said his client stabbed Mr. Scott one time with a pocket knife, an act he admitted immediately to officers.
But Mr. Jackson also told officers the day it happened and the jury this week that he used the pocket knife in self defense.
The two men had been friends for 10 to 12 years, Mr. Jackson testified. He had stayed the night at Mr. Scotts house and in the morning, Mr. Scott awoke in a foul mood, Mr. Jackson said.
He testified he was trying to get out of the house as Mr. Scott battered him.
Mr. Jackson said Mr. Scott continued to advance on him after he had been knocked to the floor of the front porch. Thats when he pulled out his pocket knife, Mr. Jackson testified.
Mr. Scott had about 65 pounds on Mr. Jackson, his defense attorney said.
I grateful for the jury and that Mr. Jackson gets to go home now, Mr. Grantham said.