A Harford County jury has acquitted a former WYPR managing editor of charges that he stabbed his adult son in 2013.
Sunni Khalid, 56, was found not guilty this week of first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, according to court records.
County prosecutors had accused Khalid of stabbing son Hassan Khalid with a Swiss Army knife during a verbal altercation that escalated on Halloween night in 2013 in Joppa. His lawyers, Ty Kelly and Clarke Ahlers, contended that the state did not prove the charges and that Khalid acted in self-defense.
"What stood out to me in this case was the lack of evidence and the fact that the state was proceeding with that lack of evidence," Kelly said.
Khalid, who served as Harford County bureau chief for The Baltimore Sun in the late 1980s and early 1990s, said he is relieved to be vindicated.
"I had the truth on my side," Khalid said in a phone interview Friday. "I'm happy this is over."
Assistant State's Attorney David Ryden said it was difficult for the state to meet its burden of proof when Khalid's son was the only eyewitness.
Ryden said he respects the jury's decision, though he doesn't agree with it.
Khalid now lives in Oakland, Calif., and works as a reporter for two radio stations in the Bay Area.
He called the trial "an eye opener" on the shortcomings of the criminal justice system. He said sheriff's deputies never interviewed him for his side of the story, even though he offered to talk with them with an attorney present.
Still, he said he has no hard feelings against his son, who is now 25, and hopes to one day reconcile with him.
"I will always be his father," Khalid said. "I will always love him."