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High court affirms conviction in UA student murder

By The Associated Press

This article was published June 5, 2014 at 11:16 a.m.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld the conviction and death sentence of a man who fatally stabbed a University of Arkansas student in 2007.

The court on Thursday found that Zachariah Scott Marcyniuk's trial attorney provided a capable defense. Appellate lawyers for Marcyniuk argued that the trial attorney improperly abandoned a mental illness defense.

At trial, Marcyniuk's attorney argued for a second-degree murder conviction, telling jurors that Marcyniuk suddenly flew into a rage and killed 24-year-old Katie Wood of Greenbrier.

Prosecutors argued that Marcyniuk planned the crime. Marcyniuk broke into Wood's apartment, surprised her and stabbed her about 50 times. He hid the body, climbed out a window and drove to Oklahoma, where he was arrested. On the way, he disposed of the knife and his bloody clothes.

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