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Closing arguments continue in Atascadero murder case

A prosecutor cited jealousy and the question of "Is he your new boyfriend?" moments before Everett Quaid was stabbed in a "vicious" attack as evidence of Kelsey Morasci's guilt in closing arguments of a murder trial today.

But Morasci's defense attorney, Tom McCormick, countered by citing testimony that he said contradicts factual evidence in the case.

McCormick said a key witness, Damon Shannon, was at the Atascadero apartment to party and brought a 30-pack of beer to the gathering in the early morning of Aug. 6, 2009, and 25 cans were consumed. He said Shannon's testimony should be dismissed for lack of credibility.

Prosecutor Lee Cunningham argued that the evidence points to Morasci's guilt and her intent to kill Quaid - who had begun dating her ex-girlfriend - in part because of witness testimony that she grabbed two steak knives after the alleged stabbing with a Swiss Army knife and followed Quaid outside to "finish to the job."

But defense attorney Thomas McCormick said that neither Morasci's DNA nor fingerprints are on the alleged murder weapon and his client was acting in self-defense, which is evident in her efforts to resuscitate Quaid in the parking lot.

The defense's arguments continue this afternoon in Judge John Trice's courtroom before a prosecution rebuttal. The case then will go to the jury for deliberation.

-Nick Wilson

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