Jury deliberations continue in Turlock sanity trial

08/19/2014 4:39 PM

08/19/2014 4:40 PM

A jury will resume deliberations Wednesday morning, trying to decide whether a defendant was suffering from mental illness when he stabbed to death a 25-year-old man in Turlock.

Nicholas John Harris has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of Mark Anthony Henson.

In June, the jury found Harris guilty of second-degree murder and arson in Henson’s death. Now, the jurors have to unanimously decide whether Harris was insane when he stabbed Henson and burned his car.

The jury deliberated on Tuesday but left the Stanislaus County courthouse about 4:15 p.m. without reaching a verdict.

The stabbing occurred Aug. 12, 2008. The prosecutor argued Harris wanted to eliminate the man he believed had been bothering his then-girlfriend.

Harris found Henson sleeping in the front seat of his Mitsubishi. A struggle ensued. The prosecutor told the jury Harris repeatedly stabbed Henson in the back.

Harris then set Henson’s car on fire as the injured man staggered down the street looking for help. Henson died later at a hospital.

The defense attorney has argued that Harris was suffering with bipolar disorder and did not know at the time that stabbing Henson was wrong.

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