A Minnesota man charged with fatally stabbing an angler last spring along the St. Croix River will testify at his December trial, attorneys said Monday.
Levi Acre-Kendall, 20, of Cambridge, is claiming self-defense in the April 14 death of 34-year-old Peter S. Kelly. One of his attorneys, Doug Hazelton, said at a motion hearing Monday that his client plans to testify when he stands trial Dec. 7 in Polk County Circuit Court in Balsam Lake, Wis.
Acre-Kendall faces one count of first-degree reckless homicide.
In a countermove aimed at torpedoing defense strategy, District Attorney Dan Steffen filed a motion Friday to add a second charge of second-degree intentional homicide.
Acre-Kendall's other attorney, Eric Nelson, filed a motion in July to dismiss the reckless homicide charge, citing Wisconsin's "castle doctrine," which gives defendants additional legal protection for using deadly force against someone they believe unlawfully enters their house, business or vehicle and is perceived as a threat.
If the case isn't dismissed, Nelson had argued, jurors should receive an instruction about the castle doctrine.
Steffen responded that, since the defendant intends "to present evidence he believed he was justified to use deadly force and thereby intended to use deadly force … the act of the defendant would be to intentionally cause the victim's death and the charge of Second Degree Intentional Homicide fits the conduct."
The proposed count carries the same penalty as first-degree reckless homicide, which is punishable by up to 60 years in prison.
Judge Molly GaleWyrick said she would address Steffen's motion at trial.