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Friday, 13 June 2014 10:23

Defense: death of WJU student was not premeditated murder

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Trial of Flordia man accused in WV slaying to conclude Friday

WHEELING, W. Va. -- The trial of a Florida man charged in connection with the murder of a Wheeling Jesuit University student last year continued Thursday.

The defense called 22-year-old Craig Tyler Peacock to the stand on Thursday. Peacock denied intentionally kicking the victim, WJU Student Kevin Figaniak, while he was on the ground . The prosecution claims that Peacock kicked Figaniak in the head, causing his death. The defense said the kick was unintentional and blunt impacts to the head - meaning several hits - caused Figaniak’s death.

After the state presented its evidence, the defense asked for an acquittal. Defense Attorney Robert McCoid said that the incident was not pre-meditated first-degree murder. After a short break, the judge denied the defense's motion and ruled the case would proceed.

Dozens of witnesses and experts have taken the stand. Two medical examiners said the death was caused by traumatic brain injury due to blunt impacts to the head.

Jury instructions and closing arguments will begin Friday at 10 a.m.

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