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Published November 06 2010

Second trial clears man in Moorhead stabbing

A jury in Clay County District Court found a 30-year-old Moorhead man not guilty to charges of second-degree assault Thursday.

It was the second trial for Dominic Gemelli, who had been accused of stabbing his brother-in-law with a knife during a family get-together in February 2008.

Though he didn’t deny he had stabbed Jesse Gibson, Gemelli argued that Gibson had hit him first and he’d acted in self-defense.

Gemelli was found guilty in the first trial and sentenced to a prison stint of two years and a month.

He successfully argued in appeal that he deserved a new trial because jurors in the first were incorrectly instructed that he had a duty to retreat, though he didn’t because the altercation happened in his home, Clay County Attorney Brian Melton said.

Jurors deliberated for about 90 minutes before handing down not guilty