DUBUQUE - A Dubuque County jury will decide if it actually was an accident in the case of the man accused of stabbing and killing his best friend. After almost two weeks of testimony, the jury has started deliberations in Michael Mayton's first degree murder trial.
Mayton admitted he stabbed his friend, but says it was an accident. That friend, David Tate, died at the hospital shortly after the incident.
After listening to very conflicting testimony, the jury no has to decide if Mayton intended to kill is friend or if, as Mayton claims, he didn't realize he was stabbing his good buddy.
During closing arguments Dubuque County Attorney Ralph Potter told the jury to consider the evidence that is most believable.
Potter pointed out the change in Mayton's story between the night he was arrested and what he said on the stand this week.
But Mayton's lawyers urged the jury to look at the facts. He admitted Mayton was the one who stabbed both Richard Schramm and David Tate that night. But says Mayton was acting in self defense and did not plan to kill anyone.
"Where is the specific intent to kill anyone. There is no specific intent," said David Staudt, Mayton's attorney.
"He stabbed him. How about the physical evidence of the autopsy which shows a violent deep driving cut which cut through the ribs....come on," said Ralph Potter, prosecutor.
Prosecutors are seeking a first degree murder conviction against Mayton even though they agree the stabbing was not premeditated.