James Howell found not guilty of former Coast chef's murder
JAMES Howell has been found not guilty of murdering former Maroochydore chef Peter Milos.
There were audible gasps from the public gallery after the verdict was read out in the Brisbane Supreme Court, yesterday.
Mr Milos was found dead in a house in Morningside, in central Brisbane, in May 2014 after being allegedly bludgeoned with a spirit level and hammer.
James Thomas Howell pleaded not guilty to Milos' murder, when his trial began last week.
During the trial, Mr Howell told the jury the high-profile chef was already dead when he arrived at Mr Milos' house.
Mr Howell said he was shocked to find his friend, who had recently moved to Brisbane from Maroochydore to further his cooking career, face down and bloodied in the garage of the Morningside address in May 2014.
Allegedly fearing the attacker was still close, Mr Howell told the court he fled, went back to the takeaway store to buy food for a friend who was due to visit his house that afternoon and stopped at the bottle shop to buy alcohol and soft-drink and caught a taxi back to his home.
During the trial, Mr Howell described Mr Milos as "a good man with a good heart ...who would put his family and friends above anything else".
Police allege Mr Milos was beaten to death with the building tools, possibly over a large sum of cash he had at his home.
Several members of Mr Milos's family, including his mother and siblings, were in court for the trial before Justice Martin Daubney.