HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Attorneys in the capital murder case of Stephen Marc Stone gave opening statements Thursday afternoon.
The jury of 12 was seated Thursday afternoon in the case of Stone, who faces the death penalty if convicted.
Stone is charged with killing his wife Krista and their 7-year-old son Zachary in February 2013. Stone's attorneys plan to argue he was insane at the time of the killings.
His trial had been delayed because of concerns about his mental state. But in his opening statement, prosecutor Tim Gann said Stone has no history of mental illness. Instead, Gann said there was evidence that the marriage was suffering.
Gann said the day Stone killed Krista and Zach, he said he was going for a drive and disappeared all day. When he came home at midnight, he and Krista argued and Stone choked her on a couch with his elbow, crushing her neck.
Stone then went to Zachary's room and choked him in bed until he suffered convulsions, Gann said. Stone then drew a bath and drowned his son in the tub, he said.
Stone laid both his wife's and son's bodies on his bed before taking his two daughters, ages 4 and 2, and driving to Leeds, Ala., according to Gann. He said Stone then went police there and told them he had killed Krista and Zachary. Huntsville police broke into the home and found their bodies on the bed.
Stone told police he had been suffering from depression and that during the argument he broke. Gann ended by saying Stone knew exactly what he was doing, he told police after the killings he felt free.
Defense attorney Larry Marsili opened his statements by saying he doesn't dispute that his client did, in fact, do everything that Gann mentioned in his statements. Marsili says the part of the case that is under dispute is about what was going on in Mark Stone's mind. Marsili says the evidence shows what Stone was unable to appreciate the nature and quality of his actions at the time.
Marsili says Dr. Glenn King, who used to work for the state of Alabama doing evaluations, came to the conclusion that Stone suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. He says the opinion is based on observation, speaking to Stone, and the review of all the documents. At two separate times over the past years, two other doctors met with Stone and came to the same diagnosis as Dr. King. Marsili concluded that Stone was suffering from a severe defect and couldn't tell right from wrong.
Testimony in the case began late Thursday afternoon. For a minute-by-minute accounting of the testimony, follow @BrianLawson15 on Twitter.