ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - Kenny Dewayne Adams was found guilty late Wednesday afternoon of stabbing his cousin to death on New Years Eve in 2012, during an argument over a pair of borrowed DVD movies.
He never denied stabbing Yancey Foster to death during a struggle in Foster's mobile home, but claimed all along the killing was in self defense. However, prosecutors say there was clear intent to kill Foster. The question of intent remained crucial in the minds of prosecutors throughout the short trial.
As testimony was to resume following the lunch break Tuesday, prosecutors called Adams' wife, Amy, to the witness stand. However, she invoked her marital privilege and refused to testify. With that, the state rested its case against Adams and the jury was sent home for the rest of the day.
Adams' attorney, Harlan Mitchell, then asked the court for a directed verdict of not guilty, claiming the state had failed to prove that Adams intended to kill his cousin, Yancey Foster.
The state then argued Adams had threatened to stab Foster to death several times in the days leading up to the killing and carried a knife with him when he allegedly went to Foster's mobile home to retrieve the two DVD's. The state also maintained the severity of the wounds on Foster indicated an intent to take his life. The state also alluded to a possible motive being a physical relationship Adams' wife had with Foster.
Mitchell claims Adams stabbed Foster in self defense after the two men began to scuffle. An autopsy revealed Foster suffered five stab wounds, including one that cut two ribs in half and pierced his heart.
In denying the defense's request, Circuit Court Judge Robert Baker told the attorneys he would let the jury sort it out, and minutes later the defense rested its case without calling witnesses or presenting any evidence.
The jury deliberated approximately five hours on Wednesday. At one point, they asked to watch a sheriff's investigator's videotaped interview with Adams at the time of his arrest.
In any criminal trial the burden of proof is always on the state, and the defense is not required to prove anything nor present testimony or evidence. In trials like this, the jury had to decide the case strictly on the evidence and testimony presented by the prosecution.