LOS ANGELES -- Porn star John Holmes was found innocent Friday of murdering four people found bludgeoned to death in a Laurel Canyon blood bath last summer.
'Thank God,' the star of hard-core sex films said as the verdict was read.
The eight-man, four-woman jury, which returned its verdict after three days of deliberations, also found Holmes, 37, innocent of attempted murder in the severe beating of a woman who survived the attack.
The prosecution took just five days to present witnesses and evidence, including a graphic videotape of the bloody crime scene. The defense abruptly rested its case Monday without calling a single witness.
Defense attorney Earl Hanson told jurors in his closing arguments that Holmes, who used the stage name Johnny Wadd, should be found innocent of the July 1 slayings because he was forced at gunpoint to lead the killers to their victims.
'The jury felt that the right people were not here (in court),' Hanson said after the verdict.
Holmes remained in Los Angeles County Jail late Friday in lieu of $25,000 bail on an earlier charge of receiving stolen goods and an unspecified 'out-of-state' hold, sheriff's Deputy Larry Schwartz said.
Despite court rulings last week that Holmes could not argue duress as a defense, Hanson told jurors that duress was a 'significant' factor in their decision whether the sex star had the intent to kill anyone.
'Without intent there is no crime,' Hanson told the jurors. 'If a gun is placed to your head and you are told to do a particular act, the only intent you would have probably is to save your own life.'
An attorney for Holmes said earlier the actor did not testify because he was 'too afraid for his life and the lives of his friends and family to say anything.'
After the verdict, Hanson said the actor would cooperate with police if they guaranteed his protection.
Deputy District Attorney Ron Coen unsuccessfully argued that Holmes led the killers to the home in the Hollywood Hills to avenge an earlier robbery at the home of nightclub owner and accused drug dealer Adel 'Eddie Nash' Nasrallah.
Both the prosecution and defense argued that Nasrallah masterminded the slayings, but the restauranteur has never been charged in the case.
Coen insisted that Holmes was a willing participant who set up his friends for murder and actually struck one of the victims.
'I just don't know what happened,' Coen said after the verdict. 'There was no doubt he was there, that he helped in the crime. I just don't know.'
Several jurors said outside the courtroom that prosecutors had not proven that Holmes had intended to kill any of the victims.
Two of the victims -- Ronald Launius and William Deverell - allegedly participated in the robbery of Nash's house, which Holmes planned. The two other victims were Joy Audrey Miller and Barbara Richardson. Susan Launius, who survived the attack, testified during the trial but was unable to identify her assailants.