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Earl guilty of manslaughter in bashing death at Gatton pub

A JURY took less than two hours to find Christopher James Earl not guilty of murder in relation to the bashing death of a man during a Gatton pub fight.

Instead the jury found him guilty of manslaughter in relation to the man's death.

The jury delivered their unanimous verdict on Thursday around lunchtime.

Earl, 29, pleaded not guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court to murdering Laurence Shane Black, 46, at the Imperial Hotel on October 28, 2011.

Outside court Mr Black's family were too distraught over the not guilty murder verdict to speak with APN Newsdesk.

A source close to the investigation told APN Newsdesk jurors often found it very had to convict a person of murder.

"Unless it is really cut and dry then they struggle with it," they said.

Throughout the seven day trial Mr Black's family sat in the courtroom listening to witnesses describe in graphic detail what they saw that fateful night.

One question they did not have answered during the trial was why?

They know how their loved one died, but they will never know the circumstances which led to Earl attacking him with such ferocity it severed the two main arteries to his brain.

Justice Peter Applegarth thanked the jury for their service before dismissing them of their duties.

Earl was remanded into custody and will be sentenced early next week.

Topics:  murder trial


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