Oregon Man Who Stabbed Another Man 5 Times With a Spear Found Not Guilty of Murder

Spear stabbing
Austin Hayes was arrested two months after the fatal stabbing.Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

The July 2021 incident occurred in downtown Portland at a homeless camp.

An Oregon man who killed another man by stabbing him five times with a homemade spear has been acquitted of murder after a judge sided with his self-defense contention.

Austin Hayes, 33, was found not guilty Wednesday of charges including second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon.

Multnomah County Circuit Judge Amy Baggio accepted the man's claims that he acted in self-defense during a confrontation in downtown Portland with Quinton Miller, who later died from his stab wounds.

Hayes had waived his right to a jury trial, according to online court records.

The incident occurred in July 2021 near a homeless shelter where Hayes acted as a security guard. He told investigators he fought back after Miller taunted and threw things at him, according to Hayes' defense attorney.

“He was trying to ward off the guy, who kept reaching out — throwing stuff at him, kicking at him,” Russell Barnett told The Oregonian. “My closing argument was about three minutes: Just follow the law.”

Barnett showed the court video taken by a neighbor, which appeared to show Miller assuming a boxer's stance and then lunging several times at Hayes, the news outlet reported.

Hayes told investigators the confrontation heightened after Miller threatened a woman and said he was going to kill someone, the judge wrote in an earlier court order, The Oregonian reported.

Related Stories