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A Lancaster County jury Friday found a 61-year-old Lincoln man not guilty of felony assault and weapons charges in connection to a stabbing last summer.

Hughie Perdew had denied from the start that it happened how his accuser said it did.

He acknowledged that he stabbed the man but said it was self-defense, according to his attorney, Brad Sipp.

Early July 13, a 33-year-old Lincoln man told police he'd been sleeping in a bedroom when he heard a friend shout his name a couple of times. In the living room, he told them he saw Perdew with a woman and confronted him, believing Perdew had tried to rape her.

He told police Perdew came running at him and struck him several times on the chest. He only realized he'd been stabbed after he saw he was bleeding.

He walked to the police substation at 13th and F streets to report it and was taken to a hospital, where his stab wounds were closed with about two dozen staples.

When police went to Perdew's home, he told them the man and woman had come to his home near 12th and Washington streets together that day and ended up in an argument in his bedroom.

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Perdew said when he asked them to leave, the 33-year-old man ran up to him as he sat in his rocking chair and punched him five times in the face.

That's when, he said, he reached for his pocket knife and stabbed him.

Police found a pocket knife with dried blood under a coffee table in the living room and arrested Perdew.

Both men testified at the three-day trial. The jury got the case for deliberations at 10:17 a.m. Friday and returned at 4:20 p.m., finding Perdew not guilty.

Sipp said Perdew, who had been jailed since his July 13 arrest, was freed Friday night and now is homeless. But, he said, he's happy to be free and have the case behind him.

If convicted of second-degree assault and use of deadly weapon to commit a felony, Perdew would have faced up to 70 years in prison.

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