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Day three of murder trial, Joseph Craigo takes the stand

CASS COUNTY, Mich. -- The man on trial accused of killing his own father took the stand to tell his side of the story in Cass County court today.

Day three of Joseph Craigo’s murder trial continued with testimony called by the prosecution.

Forensic Pathologist Joyce Lynn DeJong performed Alan Craigo’s autopsy. She explained eleven knife wounds were found, but one to the right side of his neck seemed to be most lethal.

DNA Examiner David Hayhurst confirmed the blood on the blade of the knife in question belonged to Alan, and the DNA on the handle belonged to Joseph Craigo.  

Later in the afternoon, Joseph waived his right to remain silent to share what he said happened on March 27th of 2017 -- when he allegedly stabbed his father to death. “I was so frightened I didn’t really know what to do,” he said. 

Craigo calls the gruesome death of his father self-defense. He says he grew up with an abusive dad. “He had some anger issues... He would beat both of us boys.”

Craigo claims he felt old fears of his father on that day when he says his dad attacked him out of nowhere.

“I poked him like 3 times in the stomach to try to get him off me. I’m like dad stop! What are you doing?”

However, the prosecution questioning whether there was ever abuse.  When asked to testify, Craigo’s ex-wife Caitlynn Picking said he never told her that Craigo’s father would beat him.

The medical examiner said the stab wounds punctured through Alan’s abdomen wall; two pierced through his organs.

Out of the eleven knife wounds, one seemed to be the killer.  

“I stabbed him in the neck,” Joseph Craigo said.

After he spoke, his attorney urged jurors to see Craigo’s innocence. “When you see hear the evidence, hear the instructions you’ll find that Mr. Craigo is not guilty,” he lectured.

When the defense attorney asked Craigo if he believed the knife was a necessity to get his father of of him, he said “it wasn’t even a thought in my mind.”

The prosecution claims that Craigo was under the influence of methamphetamines during the murder of Alan Craigo.

Jury deliberation will begin Friday morning at 8:15.

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