Supreme Court finds two young men not guilty of murder, but of arrest Peter Keeley with intent to cause actual bodily harm.
The six-day trial, conducted only by the judge, heard evidence from forensic experts who disagreed on the cause of death.
Mr Keeley was a real estate agent and had worked at Mix 106.3 and hit104.7 in Canberra.
His body was found in the bushland near Broulee, on the south coast of New South Wales, with tape around the ankles, wrists and head.
Three 17-year-old boys were charged with murder and two of them, now 19 and 20, faced trial in the NSW Supreme Court in May after pleading not guilty to murder but guilty of aggravated kidnapping.
On Thursday, Judge Michael Walton found them not guilty of murder but convicted them of detaining Mr Keeley with intent to cause actual bodily harm.
The defense has argued that methamphetamine’s toxicity caused Mr. Keeley’s death, while the prosecution’s witness had argued that the victim likely suffered cardiac arrest as a result of craniofacial trauma with airway obstruction after the teens attacked him.
Justice Walton agreed that methamphetamine toxicity could not be ruled out as a cause of death.