Jurors deliberated for less than five hours before they found Antoine Little innocent of murder Wednesday, acquitting him of all charges in connection with the stabbing death of 52-year-old James Cain.
Police found Cain on June 25, 2012, in the 1500 block of Kenilworth Avenue Northeast suffering from five stab wounds, including one to the throat that perforated his jugular vein. Prosecutors say that Little went with his wife and another person to get their car fixed by Cain that day.
At trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Wheeler argued that Little initiated a physical confrontation that lead to Cain’s death, but defense attorneys reminded jurors in closing arguments that one witness saw Cain grab a long metal pole first.
Monica Smith testified that after Little exited the car, he walked at a “steady pace” toward Cain and said, “I’m tired of all your sh*t. I told you to go ahead with that mess.” Smith says when the two men met, Cain pushed and struck at him first. Smith could not recall in court whether or not Cain used a closed fist.
Additionally, two eyewitnesses said that Cain was swinging a long metal pole before he was stabbed, defense attorney Jason Downs said. According to Little’s attorneys, Little acted in self-defense to stop 265-pound, six-foot-three-inch Cain from killing him.
At trial, Robbie Watts testified that Cain was known around the neighborhood as “a violent type of person that would do anything to you.”
After the jury read the verdict, Judge Jennifer Anderson scheduled 36-year-old Little’s release.