A judge has praised the family of Luke Jeffrey for their conduct throughout the week-long trial over his death.
Samuel Morgan, 19, of Adelaide Road, Chichester, was today found not guilty of murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter at Hove Crown Court.
After the jury delivered its verdict at around 11.45am on Wednesday, August 17, judge Christine Laing QC addressed Mr Jeffrey's family, who have sat in the public gallery throughout.
She said: "To the family of Luke Jeffrey, who have sat through all of the trial, I simply commend you for the restraint you have shown when listening to evidence which has been hard to hear.
“So thank you for the manner in which you have conducted yourselves.”
The trial heard how Mr Jeffrey, 18, from Bognor Regis, died of a single stab wound to the upper chest after a dispute over drugs money on March 11.
The jury accepted Morgan's account that he had stabbed Mr Jeffrey in self defence, taking a day before delivering a not guilty verdict for murder or manslaughter.