WATERTOWN — After being convicted of murder, winning an appeal and then being put on trial again this week, Christopher M. Swem has been found not guilty of five of the six charges levied against him.

Mr. Swem, 38, was found not guilty Friday morning in Jefferson County Court of second-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with physical evidence. He was found guilty of the sixth count of tampering with physical evidence.

Mr. Swem was previously convicted in 2018 of causing the death of Shawndell Anderson, 30, of Syracuse, after a fight erupted at a party at 220 Moulton St. over a broken television set on Aug. 19, 2017. Mr. Anderson was stabbed five times in the chest.

In April 2020, as Mr. Swem was serving a 24-year-to-life sentence at Attica Correctional Facility, a state appellate court reversed his conviction. Swem appealed the conviction to the state Appellate Division, Fourth Department, claiming, among other things, that the jury should have been given a “circumstantial evidence” instruction.

That led to the trial this week and subsequent acquittal of the major charges.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.