Not guilty verdict in nightclub stabbing
Assault outside Moncton, N.B., club left Ghanaian immigrant paralyzed
A 26-year-old Moncton, N.B., man has been found not guilty of aggravated assault in connection with a fight outside a nightclub that left a man paralyzed from the waist down.
A jury of four men and eight women found Daniel Carl Ferris not guilty on Monday after deliberating for about four hours.
After the verdict was read in the Court of Queen's Bench, Ferris's mother and sister cried and clutched each other.
Kofi Ampong, the 28-year-old native of Ghana who was left a quadriplegic after being stabbed three years ago, was not in court to hear the verdict.
"I am just devastated," said Gail Butts, a friend of Ampong. "Just absolutely sick."
She said Ampong was in shock over the verdict and the realization that neither the accused nor the other alleged assailants are likely to be punished for what happened in the parking lot of a Moncton nightclub.
Ampong and his girlfriend were at the now-defunct Voodoo Nightclub on Sept. 1, 2007, when a fight began in the parking lot.
Ampong was stabbed three times in the neck and chest. One of those blows severed Ampong's spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed.
"People who were kicking him and punching him when he was laying on the pavement — you know, their names have not even been mentioned," said Butts.
"Not a breath of who those people were. Why do they get to go free?"
Last week, during closing arguments in the case, defence lawyer Scott Fowler said several factors pointed to his client's innocence, including the fact that there was no physical evidence found linking Ferris to the crime.
Fowler also said the three people who positively identified Ferris as the attacker gave at times contradictory testimony.
After the jury read its decision, Justice George Rideout thanked the jury, then ordered the sheriff to unshackle Ferris and set him free.
The Ferris family declined to be interviewed Monday.