Michael Delaney Guilty of First-Degree Murder
Jury finds Michael Delaney guilty of first-degree murder for the 2009 stabbing of neighbor Micheal Scalzo in Wheaton.
Delaney stabbed Scalzo six times with a steak knife during a confrontation outside their Wheaton apartments on June 19, 2009. The fight was the culmination of a breakup between Delaney and ex-girlfriend Edita Pranckute earlier that week. Witnesses testified Wednesday that Scalzo had approached Delaney to defuse the escalating conflict between Delaney and Pranckute's new boyfriend, and was attacked when he turned to walk away.
Delaney testified he was attacked by Scalzo and had to defend himself. He testified that at one point, he was hit so hard he was fighting back in an "incoherent state," and didn't know he had stabbed Scalzo in the back and side.
Prosecutors argued the murder was cold, pre-calculated and pre-meditated. In closing arguments Friday, DuPage County Assistant State's Attorney Jae Kwan said the evidence of first-degree murder is "overwhelming," after multiple witnesses testified Delaney had threatened to kill Pranckute and her new boyfriend, Jonathan Nkhoma, and that Delaney had attacked Scalzo.
"You don't plunge that knife into (the) upper torso of someone without knowing it would cause great bodily harm," Kwan said.
Delaney's defense argued Delaney believed he needed to defend himself when he was attacked by Scalzo. DuPage County Assistant Public Defender Brian Jacobs added the testimony of Delaney was "unwavering," while the state's witnesses had provided differing accounts of details of the night of Scalzo's death.
Scalzo, 40, repaired cars and worked on motorcycles, and was a "handyman" in the neighborhood, his mother Janet Scalzo testified Wednesday.
Because the jury found that the murder was cold and calculated, Delaney faces a maximum prison sentence of natural life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to a press release from the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.
- Michael Delaney: 'I Was in an Incoherent State' During Fatal Fight
- 'Zero Evidence' Scalzo Murder was Pre-Meditated: Defense
- 'No Question Michael Delaney Killed Michael Scalzo': Public Defender
- Jury Selection Tuesday in Wheaton Murder Trial
CORRECTION: Micheal Scalzo's name was mispelled as 'Michael.'