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.