Defense argues self-defense during first day of murder trial
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Trial began Monday for a Mandan man accused of murder, after a judge refused to accept a plea agreement late last year.
The defense attorneys argued the man acted in self-defense.
In December, suspect Arthur Funk was offered a plea agreement by the state that would have reduced the murder charge to manslaughter with a six-year prison sentence.
However, Judge Cynthia Feland denied the plea agreement, which resulted in a trial Funk is accused of stabbing 53-year-old Keven Stockert, leaving him to die outside of his residence in June of 2019.
“The defendant didn’t make any effort to call for law enforcement assistance, didn’t make any effort to call for medical assistance,” said state’s attorney Chase Lingle.
Funk’s defense argued he was acting in self-defense after the two men got into a fight.
“He tried to push himself out of the car. And finally he gets himself out of the car and this individual is still grabbing him, hanging on to him. My client is trying to escape. The individual is still fighting him, and yes, my client, in self-defense, pulls out knife and stabs this individual as this individual is still terrorizing him and threatens him,” said defense attorney Bradley Rose.
Court records show the fight happened over a stolen vehicle.
The trial is scheduled to continue through next Friday. It’s uncertain whether Funk will take the stand as a witness.
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