Man must stand trial in coffee-mug death

Published February 9, 2006 1:13 am
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WEST JORDAN - A man accused of murdering another man with a coffee mug is going to trial and likely will argue he killed the victim in self defense.

Third District Court Judge Stephen Roth ruled Wednesday there is probable cause for Paul K. Madill, 30, to be tried on a first-degree felony charge of murder in the Aug. 23 death of 27-year-old Klynt J. Barber.

Barber died outside his girlfriend's apartment near 7000 South and 3200 West in West Jordan after his jugular vein was severed.

Court papers say the girlfriend was in her apartment with Madill and didn't answer the door when Barber knocked because she feared Barber would become jealous.

At a hearing here Wednesday, Madill's brother, Justin Marble, testified he drove to the apartment to pick up Madill and saw Barber outside.

Marble said he knocked, and when Madill arrived in the doorway with a shiny, tan coffee mug, Barber quickly pushed by and headed for Madill.

Barber had a knife in his hand, and Madill was still holding the coffee mug in his right hand, Marble said. Madill pushed Barber to the left against a wall enclosing the porch, then swung at and hit him in the upper cheek area with the coffee mug, Marble testified.

"I've never seen anything like this before. You could kind of see the skin on his neck kind of peel back," Marble said. "That's when you saw blood squirt everywhere."

Madill then backed away, Marble said. Barber then began banging on his girlfriend's door with the bottom of the knife handle.

Marble, who testified under immunity from prosecution, admitted Wednesday he gave inaccurate information during a police interview. He testified that he was worried his brother would get in trouble for hitting Barber with the mug.

Cheryl Johnson, who said she was visiting her daughter at the apartment complex, testified Wednesday she heard a commotion outside the complex. She said she saw Madill with blood on him. He was standing in the grass, yelling, "You got it. You got what you deserved," she testified.

Madill told police a different version of events, detective Randy Anglesey testified Wednesday. Madill said the mug broke when the men hit the wall, Anglesey testified. At one point Madill suggested shards of the mug could have broken off and cut Barber's neck. Madill also said he never saw Barber with a weapon, the detective said.

Deputy Utah Medical Examiner Ed Leis testified Barber died from a cut on the left side of his neck that severed the jugular. Barber had half a milligram of methamphetamine in his system, enough to alter his mood and behavior, Leis said.

After the hearing, Assistant Salt Lake County Attorney Clark Harms declined to say whether investigators recovered a knife used by Barber.


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