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Jury To Hear Closing Arguments In Finney Murder Trial

Last updated on Monday, October 7, 2013

(BLOOMINGTON) - Jurors will hear closing arguments at 9 a.m. this morning in the trial of 23-year-old James Finney, who is accused of killing 22-year-old Pizza X driver Adam Sarnecki.

The defense rested Friday morning without presenting any evidence, sending the jury home for the weekend.

Finney declined to testify on his own behalf.

Earlier in the week, jurors heard evidence about the nature of the shooting and how the investigation progressed in the hours and days after Sarnecki was killed, including police interviews where Finney allegedly admitted to the crime.

"I ain't a killer," he said. "I didn't do it on purpose. I had no intention of killing anyone, alright? I was just trying to get some money."

Defense attorney, Michael Spencer filed a motion to allow the jury to consider a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter - as opposed to murder - in their deliberations.

Spencer argued that Finney was afraid and acted out of "sudden heat" when Sarnecki came upon Finney during an attempted robbery.

Prosecutors argued that Sarnecki's wound in his lower back does not match a story that Finney was afraid or shot in self-defense.

Kellams ruled Friday morning that voluntary manslaughter could be considered under the condition of "sudden heat," and will include that charge in his final instructions to the jury.

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