James Rajbhandari should be found not guilty of murdering Wyatt Lewis: lawyer

James Rajbhandari's murder trial is winding down and his lawyer told the jury on Tuesday that they should find his client not guilty in the stabbing death of Wyatt Lewis.

Jury will begin its deliberations on Wednesday

A Calgary jury will begin deliberations on Wednesday to decide if James Rajbhandari is guilty of murdering Wyatt Lewis at a house party. (CBC)

Common sense should prevail when 12 men and women decide if James Rajbhandari is guilty of murder, says his lawyer.

Alain Hepner made his closing submissions to the jury on Tuesday in Rajbhandari's second-degree murder trial. He's accused of stabbing Wyatt Lewis to death at a house party in 2012.

"At the end of the day, you cannot have anything but a reasonable doubt," said Hepner when urging the jury to acquit his client.

The Crown's star witness' story changed when he was questioned by the prosecution and Hepner, calling into question issues of identification, 

That witness — who testified he had 20 drinks the night of the attack and had been up for more than 30 hours initially — identified Rajbhandari as the one who stabbed Lewis, but recanted parts of his story under cross examination.

"Don't leave your common sense at the door," said Hepner. "If you say, 'Well maybe he did it' that's not good enough."

Lewis had been out with an old friend when they were invited to a party at an apartment building on 16th Avenue N.W.

A fight broke out between a couple of the partygoers, people were ordered out of the apartment and in the chaos of a mass exodus, Lewis was stabbed, according to prosecutor Marta Juzwiak.

Wyatt Lewis, a father of four, was stabbed to death in September 2012 in what the prosecution says is a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Family photo)

"I expect that once you consider the wounds on Wyatt Lewis's body, you will conclude that James Rajbhandari meant to kill Wyatt Lewis," said Juzwiak.

When police interviewed Rajbhandari, he had fresh cuts on his hands and his blood was found on a knife that had been hidden on the apartment balcony.

A second man was also stabbed but survived.

The jury will begin its deliberations after the judge's instructions on Wednesday.