A West Chester jury has acquitted a man of murder and related charges in last year's stabbing death of his friend.
Jurors deliberated for nearly eight hours before finding 47-year-old Damon Wylie of Coatesville not guilty on all counts late Friday, The Daily Local News of West Chester said.
Wylie was charged with first- and third-degree murder, manslaughter and related offenses in the July stabbing death of 41-year-old Marcus Miles. He said he acted in self-defense.
Prosecutors said in court documents that the two scuffled on a Coatesville street before Miles followed Wylie into an unoccupied home before the stabbing.
Prosecutors argued that the defendant was much bigger and could easily have subdued the other man without causing him harm.
“The defendant did not have to kill Marcus Miles, that wasn't his only way out of the situation,” Assistant District Attorney Bonnie Cox-Shaw said. “He didn't have to stab him, not even once, and certainly not 14 times.”
Public defender Sheryl Wilson attacked the credibility of prosecution testimony and argued that her client feared for his life as he struggled with Miles in the unoccupied home and grabbed the scissors from the other man.
“He didn't know what was happening; all he knows is that this guy is relentless. He's not going to let up,” Wilson said. “He knows if he doesn't get these scissors it's over for him. In his mind, at that moment, it was him or Marcus, and he didn't want it to be him.”
Cox-Shaw argued that the defendant was the only person to testify that Miles ever held a weapon.