CHICAGO — The man charged in a fatal stabbing at a River West bar in early 2020 was found not guilty at trial this week, court records show.

On Wednesday, Thomas Tansey was found not guilty of murder in the February 2020 stabbing death of 23-year-old Kenneth Paterimos outside Richard’s Bar in the 400 block of North Milwaukee, according to Cook County court records.

Kenneth Paterimos | provided photo

John Corbett, an attorney who represented Paterimos’ family in a civil lawsuit filed against the bar, said Friday that Paterimos’ relatives were “all very, very upset” with the verdict.

“It’s not what they expected,” Corbett added.

Tansey’s attorney, Sam Amirante, said: “It’s the only verdict that really could’ve been had in the case.”

“It’s a tragedy,” Amirante continued. “There’s still a loss of life there.”

Tansey, a 32-year-old former U.S. Marine, was charged with murder in March 2020. Prosecutors initially said Tansey was intoxicated when he and Paterimos got into a fight inside the bar. Some witnesses reported hearing Tansey yell homophobic slurs at Paterimos.

After Tansey was thrown out, Paterimos went outside to smoke a cigarette. Once outside, the two got into another fight and Tansey stabbed Paterimos with a boxcutter, police said at the time.

Tansey claimed self-defense, and he was allowed to be released on bond with electronic monitoring as his case progressed, court records show.