A jury of seven men and four women came to the unanimous decision at the Central Criminal Court.
Criostoir MacCarthaigh, aged 36, of An Gleann, Palmerstown, had pleaded not guilty to stabbing Mr Whyte more than 100 times between Sept 24 and 26, 2008.
The trial heard the accused had stabbed the man “to pieces” in the ruin of a church five years ago.
The jury heard that MacCarthaigh had been drinking in a flat in Phibsboro on the night.
It was the prosecution’s case that he had left at around 11pm to go into the city centre when he encountered David Whyte on Ulster St. The State contended that MacCarthaigh then attacked and drove Mr Whyte to Mill Lane in Palmerstown where he stabbed him repeatedly in a church ruin.
Mr Whyte’s sisters Lesley and Paula were emotional following the delivery of the verdict.
In a victim impact statement read to the court by Mr Whyte’s brother-in-law Jonathan Spollen, he described David as a “gentle” giant.
“David was a happy-go-lucky gentle giant who never harmed a soul in his life,” he said.
“Unfortunately our Davey found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time after a night out socialising with his friends. It could have been anybody’s son, brother or friend that found themselves in this horrendous situation.”
Speaking about the victim, he said Mr Whyte, 35, was a completely innocent man.
“David was a completely innocent man minding his own business, walking home from the pub when he was viciously attacked, abducted and brutally murdered,” he said.
Speaking outside the court, Mr Spollen added that he had nothing to say about MacCarthaigh.
“[Mr Whyte] was walking home from the pub, he was attacked, he was stabbed to death, he was left on his own in a strange place and nobody knew where he was or what was wrong. We didn’t know he was even missing when this all occurred. He was an absolutely innocent man... We got the verdict that we believe is the right verdict.”