PITTSBURGH - Three men accused of stabbing Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Adams were acquitted of nearly all charges Wednesday.
Michael Paranay, 26, was found not guilty of aggravated assault, attempted robbery and conspiracy.
“It has been a long 11 months, and I think it came out the right way,” said Michael Paranay’s father, Bill Paranay.
“We’re all very excited right now,” said Michael Paranay’s aunt, Carol Paranay.
The jury found Jerrell Whitlock, 27, not guilty of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, attempted robbery and conspiracy. Jurors convicted him of fleeing police.
The jury found Dquay Means, 26, not guilty of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, attempted robbery, conspiracy and carrying a firearm. He was convicted of escape.
All three men have been jailed since the incident last summer. Channel 11’s Brandon Hudson reported Paranay is expected to be released sometime Thursday.
Means' lawyer, Fred Rabner, and Whitlock’s attorney will file motions for their clients’ release as early as tomorrow, Hudson reported.
The jurors deliberated for about five hours and were about to be sent home for the night when they told Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Anthony M. Mariani they had reached a decision.
Prosecutors argued that Adams was stabbed during an attempted carjacking in June, but defense attorneys said a fight began after Adams knocked food out of Paranay's hands. Adams, a 6-foot-7, 325-pound offensive lineman, was hospitalized for four days.
Paranay's attorney, Randall McKinney, said Adams was "obliterated drunk, aggressive and out of control."
Rabner said Adams' account of events changed three times.
"It is perfectly appropriate to consider Mike Adams would lie," Rabner said, saying the player was already on thin ice with the team. "He had a million reasons to lie."
Assistant District Attorney Christopher Stone called the case “a simple credibility determination.”
Adams was not in court for the verdict. He only appeared once -- the day he had to testify.
Adams, a 6-foot 7-inch, 325-pound offensive lineman, was hospitalized for four days following the stabbing.
The Associated Press and Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.