NEW YORK (CBS/AP) The New York City teenager charged with killing radio newsman George Weber, whom he met through Craigslist, told authorities he only jabbed Weber once in the neck during a struggle over a knife after he allegedly drank beer and snorted cocaine the man had given him, according to testimony Wednesday.
Jurors in Brooklyn Supreme Court heard the claim from John Katehis in a video statement the 18-year-old suspect made to authorities just hours after his arrest two years ago.
Katehis is charged with second-degree murder for the fatal stabbing of 47-year-old George Weber, a freelancer for ABC News Radio at the time.
"The moment I saw the knife - I guess because of the coke - I got super paranoid," Katehis says in the tape. "I grabbed for the knife. We were both struggling over the knife...I freaked and I grabbed for the knife. He tried to yank back. It jabs him in the neck."
A doctor testified Wednesday that Weber was in fact stabbed eight times in the neck, reports The New York Post. Prosecutors have said Weber was stabbed more than 50 times.
Defense lawyer Jeffrey Schwartz tried to have the tape thrown out, suggesting that police "intimidated" Katehis, but last week state Supreme Court Judge Jon Firetog ruled that the video could be presented in Katehis' murder trial.
During opening statements Monday Schwartz said Katehis went to Weber's Brooklyn apartment in March 2009 assuming he was going to make $60 to help move boxes, instead, when the then 16-year-old arrived, Weber offered him alcohol, a substance the teen believed to be cocaine and money in exchange for sex.
"George Weber was a 47-year-old drunk predator of an underage boy by the name of John Katehis," said Schwartz. "He lured this 16-year-old boy to his lair."
Prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi said Katehis was a willing participant, claiming that the two men exchanged e-mails and pictures prior to agreeing to meet at Weber's apartment. Weber, who had a sexual fetish for being smothered "to the point of where he was close to passing out," responded to Katehis' Craigslist advertisement in which he allegedly offered sex for money, according to prosecutors.
However, Katehis was not legally old enough to consent to sex under state law. The legal age of consent in New York is 17.
When investigators searched Weber's apartment they were unable to find cocaine and results from Katehis' toxicology reports indicated that there were no traces of drugs in his system, Nicolazzi said.
Police officers found Weber's body on the bedroom floor of his blood-spattered apartment. According to investigators the victim's pants and underwear were at his ankles, which were bound with duct tape.
Authorities have said Katehis described himself as a sadomasochist on the Internet and posted photos of a knife collection on a MySpace page. Detective Normile testified at a hearing before the trial that police found a military-style knife on Katehis at the time of his arrest in Middletown, N.Y., where he was allegedly hiding out with friends.
Katehis is being held without bail and also faces a charge of criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted he could face 25 years to life in prison.
Weber formerly worked at WABC in New York and at stations in Colorado, Pennsylvania and California.
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