The trial of a Sioux City man charged with first degree murder is underway in Woodbury County District Court.
47 year old Elias Wanatee is charged in the February 17th stabbing death of 50 year old Vernon Mace.
Prosecutor Drew Bockenstadt gave his opening statement and called his first witness, Thomas Abbe, to the stand Wednesday morning.
Abbe lives in a West First Street residence near where Mace was stabbed and said he and others smoked meth with Mace before Mace left Abbe’s home.
Abbe testified that he later heard an argument outside and saw Mace backing up on a sidewalk away from Wanatee.
He says Mace was yelling for someone to get a gun and a short time later heard pounding at his door.
OC….covered in blood. :04
Bockenstadt says Mace, who was nicknamed J.R., had been stabbed nine times in the chest, head and arms.
Mace later died at a hospital.
Defense Attorney Jason Dunn questioned why Abbe, who didn’t own a gun, didn’t check on why Mace was yelling for someone to get one:
OC…….why he said it. ;07
Abbe says he thought Mace and Wanatee were getting along with each other and had no problems between them.
The trial will continue Thursday.