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George Weber Murder Trial: Closing Arguments Wrap Up for Teen Accused of Killing ABC Newsman

George Weber Murder Update: Closing Arguments  in Trial of Accused Murderer John Katehis
John Katehis (AP Photo/Robert Mecea/file)

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) It was a face-off between attorneys who painted two entirely different portraits of New York teenager John Katehis, accused of fatally stabbing radio newsman George Weber, who he met on Craigslist.

Defense lawyer Jeffrey Schwartz claimed  Katehis was a victim of a drunken predator in Weber, while prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi described Katehis as "mature" and a "cold, calculating, savvy killer" who knew what he was doing when he stabbed the 47-year-old man 50 times in March 2009.

In closing arguments Monday, Schwartz told jurors that Weber gave his client, then 17, alcohol and a mysterious powdery substance before pressuring him "to do things that made him uncomfortable" in exchange for $60.

He claimed Katehis stabbed Weber in self-defense during a struggle over a knife Weber pulled out in the middle of a sexual encounter.

When Nicolazzi took the floor, she offered email exchanges between Katehis and Weber citing them as evidence that the boy was comfortable with having sex with older men for money.

"The defendant did intentionally kill George Weber," the prosecutor told jurors. "He wasn't justified, and he wasn't intoxicated."

If jurors believe the prosecution's portrayal and convict Katehis, he could face 25 years to life in prison. Deliberations were to begin Tuesday.

Police discovered Weber's body on his bedroom floor after his employer called them saying he hadn't been to work. Weber's pants and underwear were at his ankles, which were bound with duct tape. He had been stabbed about 50 times, and his blood-alcohol level was 1.2, autopsy and toxicology reports showed.

Weber had been working as a freelancer for ABC News Radio. He also had worked at WABC in New York, and at stations in California, Colorado and Pennsylvania.


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