Michael Delaney: 'I Was in an Incoherent State' During Fatal Fight

Jurors deliberate first-degree murder trial of Michael Delaney. Delaney testifies he didn't realize he had stabbed Michael Scalzo six times during an altercation outside their Wheaton apartments June 19, 2009.

A jury is deliberating the verdict of the first-degree murder trial of Michael Delaney for the 2009 stabbing death of Michael Scalzo in Wheaton. 

Delaney, 49, stabbed Michael Scalzo, 40, 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 Michael 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.

Delaney said he'd tried to talk to Nkhoma once on June 19 about 5:45 p.m. When Nkhoma turned him down, he testified, he went back into his apartment. At about 8:30, he grabbed his wallet, apartment key and a knife and went outside to smoke a cigarette.

"Everything was just there (on the counter), so I grabbed it," he said. 

When Scalzo saw Delaney outside, he jumped out of his seat and ran toward him with Nkhoma, yelling obscenities, and attacked him, Delaney testified. Delaney said he threw his wallet in the bushes, dropped the key and kept the knife in his hand. 


Delaney said he fell back after Scalzo hit him in the head and lost part of his consciousness, then fought back while in an “incoherent state of mind.”

He testified Nkhoma pulled Scalzo away from Delaney four times before noticing Scalzo had been stabbed. 

Each time Scalzo returned, he threw the first punch. When Nkhoma pulled Scalzo away the fourth time, he noticed blood and yelled, “He’s been stabbed!”

Delaney testified he didn’t know he’d stabbed Scalzo, and thinks somehow the knife got away from him while he was defending himself. 

“I did not know he had been stabbed,” he said. 

Patch will update this story when the jury reaches a verdict.

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