Raleen Matewai Noyle Rameka bit her lip as a jury of six men and five women declared her not guilty of Paul Kumeroa's manslaughter.
She began to cry as Justice Rebecca Ellis told her she was free to go. Ms Rameka hugged and kissed her lawyer, Elizabeth Hall, as she walked out of the dock.
The verdict came after a week-long retrial in the High Court at Whanganui.
Ms Rameka was accused of manslaughter in relation to Mr Kumeroa's killing in 2008.
Mr Kumeroa was walking through Cross St wearing a red hoodie on the night of September 23, 2008, when a car carrying Ms Rameka and three others pulled over near him.
Clarke McCallum and Daniel Rippon got out of the car and attacked Mr Kumeroa, with McCallum grabbing a small axe and hitting Mr Kumeroa on the head with it.
Mr Kumeroa died in hospital two days after the attack.
The two men were convicted of his murder. Ms Rameka and the driver of the car, Jamie Ahsin, were convicted of murder as well back in 2009, but had their convictions quashed by the Supreme Court in 2014.
They had served about four years of their life sentence, with minimum 10 years and six months of non-parole.
Ahsin and Ms Rameka were both charged again, this time with manslaughter. Ahsin pleaded guilty, while Ms Rameka went to trial.
Crown prosecutor Lance Rowe said while Ms Rameka took no part in the attack, she shared a common intention with the rest of the group to assault Mongrel Mob members.
After the verdict, which came at 2.30pm yesterday after the jury was sent out at 11.30am, loved ones of Ms Rameka began crying in the gallery. Ms Rameka hugged them as she cried.
Mr Kumeroa's family left the courtroom immediately after the verdict.
Outside the court, they said they were "very sad and upset".
Mr Kumeroa's mother, Caroline Kumeroa, said she was not happy with the judge's "question trail" for the jury.
"The whole fact that if you don't find her guilty in the first one, it will stop there, you will find her not guilty," sister Tiffany Kumeroa-Teua said.
The family felt Ms Rameka's not guilty verdict might encourage the others involved in the killing to appeal their convictions.
"She gets to move on, we don't," sister Ms Kumeroa-Teua said. "Time stands still eight years ago for us... she gets to get on with everyday life, not us."
Sister Victoria Kumeroa was upset at how many witnesses saw something happening to Paul Kumeroa but did not intervene.
Ms Kumeroa-Teua said they were a "very sad and upset family at the verdict".
They wanted to thank Detective Sergeant Grayson Joines, who liaised with them throughout the retrial process. He was the officer in charge of the initial case.
For more articles from this region, go to Wanganui Chronicle