ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - UPDATE: Christopher King has been found guilty of second degree murder in the Ocobter 2018 stabbing of Travon Lee.
ORIGINAL STORY: The chairs in the jury box in courtroom 4 all remained empty Tuesday after Christopher King chose to only be tried by Judge Bill Broadhurst for the murder of Travon Lee.
Lee was stabbed in the chest one time around 10 PM October 12, 2018 outside Tony's Deli in Northwest Roanoke.
"This is not a complicated case. In fact it is a simple case and it is a simple case because the killing of Mr. Lee is captured on video. And videos do not lie," said assistant Commonwealth attorney Courtney Turner in her opening statement.
Much of the first day of trial was spent watching the video surveillance from outside Tony's Deli. Multiple camera angles are able to show a verbal fight between two groups of men.
Around 8 PM on the 12th, Roanoke Police were dispatched to the same location for a disturbance call. Officers watched as the men scattered, but they return just two hours later.
"My client goes inside and then the other two gentleman come to join him again, so it's three guys against one. He draws his knife, hoping that will scare them away," said defense attorney Richard West.
The commonwealth is seeking first degree murder; however, West told the court in his opening statement that King was just trying to defend himself and did not intentionally stab Lee. Several witnesses called to testify identified King as the gentleman shown with a knife in the surveillance footage.
According to several medical professionals who took the stand, Lee only sustained one injury, a single stab wound to the chest.
October 13, 2018, King was brought in by police for questioning, and he admitted to having a knife and using it on the 12th.
The prosecution called more than 30 witnesses, but only had 6 take the stand. Judge Broadhurst denied a defense motion to strike first and second degree murder after the prosecution rested.
The defense had two new witnesses take the stand before resting at 4 PM on Tuesday. The trial is set to last until Friday.
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