NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Larry Stewart, a government witness who testified against Martha Stewart, was found not guilty Tuesday on all counts of perjury.
Larry Stewart, a Secret Service ink expert, testified that he had conducted an ink analysis of a worksheet detailing Martha Stewart's stock holdings. Prosecutors claimed that an employee in his office actually did the analysis.
Larry Stewart, who would have faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted on two counts of perjury, hugged his lawyers after the verdict was read. He later described the trial as "painful," according to Reuters.
"It feels great now," said Stewart, who has been suspended from his job as a laboratory director at the Secret Service, according to Reuters. "I don't want that job back."
The evidence Larry Stewart testified about helped convict Martha Stewart of conspiracy and obstruction of justice related to her 2001 sale of ImClone Systems (IMCL: Research, Estimates) stock.
Larry Stewart and Martha Stewart are not related.
The jury of eight men and four women returned the verdict the same week that Martha Stewart is due to report to a federal prison camp in West Virginia to begin serving her five-month prison sentence for obstruction of justice. She was also sentenced to a subsequent five months at home.
Martha Stewart's lawyers are appealing her case and were expected to use allegations that the ink expert lied to bolster their argument that she was unfairly convicted.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney David Kelley, whose office brought the cases against Martha Stewart and Larry Stewart, said he never believed that the perjury charges against the ink expert would impact Martha Stewart's appeal.
"A higher authority will consider that, and I think we're on solid footing on that point," he told Reuters.
Federal prosecutors called Larry Stewart as a witness at the homemaking icon's trial to raise questions about the authenticity of a stock worksheet that the defense introduced.
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But after his testimony, Susan Fortunato, a coworker in the ink lab, complained he had testified about tests that she had done, essentially taking credit for her work.
Federal prosecutors, who only months before used him as an expert witness, charged the ink expert with perjury.
At trial, Larry Stewart's lawyers argued that Fortunato's allegations were part of a long feud between the coworkers, a feud that once included a sexual harassment claim.
Jurors said they had trouble believing Fortunato, who was grilled about the harassment when she took the witness stand.
"Most of us felt she did have an ax to grind," juror Judith Robinson Brodsky was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Another juror, Faustino Galan, said that while Larry Stewart took unfair credit for the work, it did not amount to perjury, the news agency reported.
-- Reuters contributed to the story