Jury deliberates Thursday in Janesville ax attack case
JANESVILLE—A Rock County jury will begin deliberating Thursday morning in the case of Jeffrey J. Starkman, who is accused of trying to kill his ex-girlfriend and another man in Janesville last April.
Closing arguments in the three-day trial concluded Wednesday evening. Judge James Daley allowed the jury to decide whether to begin deliberating or to go home and deliberate in the morning.
Starkman, 35, of 2521 Bond Place, Janesville, is accused of attacking Katrina Patrick and her friend Jonathan Barthel with a hatchet at Patrick's Main Street apartment.
Starkman also faces charges of burglary, fleeing and aggravated battery with intent to cause great bodily harm with a weapon.
The defense in final arguments Wednesday concentrated on the charge of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and spent almost no time discussing the other charges.
Defense attorney Valerie Zisman argued that Starkman did not intend to kill either of his victims, and therefore should be acquitted on that charge.
Assistant District Attorney Rich Sullivan said the violence Starkman inflicted and other evidence clearly show Starkman was determined to kill both his victims.
A conviction on the attempted-murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 60 years on each count.
The other charges include maximum penalties of 20 years for each count on the aggravated battery charge and another 16 years for the other charges.
Daley told jurors not to research the case on their computers or discuss the case with anyone before they begin deliberating.