After deliberating for just four hours, a jury acquitted the man accused of fatally stabbing a 19-year-old college student who cut the line at the popular midtown Halal Chicken and Gyro food cart. Ziad Tayeh, 26, never denied killing Tyrone Gibbons during the October 2006 fight, but he's always maintained that it was in self-defense. The bloody incident began when Gibbons, his brother Shannon, and a third man, Chandradat Deodat, insinuated themselves in front of Tayeh on the line. When he protested, an argument led to a car chase and then a fateful confrontation at a red light at 52nd Street.
Taking the witness stand this week, Deodat reversed his previous statements and admitted he lied about some details to protect Shannon Gibbons, who had been driving with a suspended license. It appears that Deodat's reversal hurt his credibility with the jury—though Deodat denies it, Tayeh claims that Shannon Gibbons held a knife (or "something sharp") to his neck during the altercation, leaving him no choice but to lash out with his own blade, killing Tyrone.
When the verdict was read yesterday, the mothers of both Tayeh and his victim, Tyrone Noel Gibbons, 19, began to shout and sob in the audience, according to the Post. Outside the courtroom, Tayeh apologized to the Gibbons family, but told reporters, "As far as the system, I'm not too fond of it anymore."