A man sentenced to die for killing a University of Arkansas student wants a new trial on grounds that his lawyer abandoned a mental illness defense during trial.
Zachariah Scott Marcyniuk was convicted in the 2008 slaying of Katie Wood, who was attacked in her apartment and stabbed 50 times. A lawyer argued before the Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday that Marcyniuk's trial attorney asked the jury to find him guilty of second-degree murder when he should have pressed the mental illness defense.
A lawyer for the state attorney general's office argued that Marcyniuk's trial lawyer pressed the mental illness defense throughout the trial and that there is no reason Marcyniuk should get a new trial.
The high court will issue its ruling later.