A Wausau teenager was found guilty Friday of first-degree reckless homicide for fatally stabbing another teenage boy in what investigators said was a confrontation between two groups of teenage boys.
A jury of six men and six women deliberated about three hours before finding 16-year-old Dylan Yang guilty of a felony that carries up to a 60-year prison sentence.
Yang was accused of stabbing 13-year-old Isaiah Powell twice in the back on a street near downtown Wausau Feb. 27, 2015. Yang was 15 at the time.
In closing arguments, prosecutors told the jury that stabbing Powell was not a reasonable reaction to what happened outside Yang's home. Marathon County Assistant District Attorney Lesli Pluster said Yang could have used a chair to defend his friend who was under attack by Powell.
Yang's attorney argued that Yang was acting in self-defense because Powell had a BB gun that he thought was real. "A cold, calculated killer? No, a scared boy," Jay Kronenwetter told the jury.
Friday was the fifth day of the trial. About 30 witnesses testified.
Emotions ran high in the courtroom as the jury read the verdict, with tears from both Yang and Powell's families.
Afterward, Powell's family and the jury were escorted out by police, saying threats had been made.
In Thursday's testimony, Yang took the stand in his own defense, showing little emotion when telling the jury why he stabbed Powell that evening.
"I was scared and angry," said Yang. "There were a million thoughts going through my mind when he was shooting at us."
Powell and a group of friends had shown up near Yang's home that evening, after an argument between two groups of boys.
Witnesses have testified in the last four days that Powell started shooting a BB gun at Yang and his friends, a gun Yang said he thought was real.
The defense spent about 20 minutes questioning Yang. During which he testified he thought his nephew was going to be shot by the gun and that's why he went inside and got the knife. He said during questioning that he didn't think Powell was going to die when he stabbed him and didn't realize he was seriously hurt until he stood up and said he couldn't breathe.
The prosecution tried to hurt Yang's credibility, by pointing out examples of when Yang wasn't truthful until pressed by police.
They also questioned Yang on his decisions, saying he didn't need to use a knife that day. They pointed out he could have called police, or stopped the fight in many other ways.
WAUSAU (WAOW) - In the third day of trial, jurors heard from the Wausau teen accused of fatally stabbing a teen boy in 2015.
16-year-old Dylan Yang was charged with first degree reckless homicide in the fatal stabbing of Isaiah Powell after a fight between two groups of boys.
Just hours after the stabbing, police questioned Yang about what happened that day. Wednesday, the jury heard Yang's first statements to police, including why he stabbed Powell.
"They pulled out a gun," Yang said to police. "It looked like a real gun to me, so I'm like no I'm not going to let my nephew get shot, so I ran inside, grabbed the knife and then I came outside and I chased after him and that's when I stabbed him in the back twice."
After Yang stabbed the victim he said he pulled out the knife and just stood there.
While Yang said he thought it was a real gun, he said no one got shot and that he wasn't sure where the gun even was right before he stabbed him.
"I remember seeing it in his hand when he was (inaudible) on Troy, but I don't know what happened to it after that," Yang said.
The two groups of boys called themselves gangs, something Yang admitted to being a part of during questioning.
In the 80 minutes of testimony, jurors heard Yang walk police through that entire day.
At this time, it's still not known if he'll take the stand in the trial.