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Dunn County murder trial opening statements highlight gruesome details

Dunn County (WQOW) – It was day two of the trial for Ezra McCandless, the 22-year-old accused of fatally stabbing Alexander Woodworth 16 times back in 2018.

His body was found in a car in Springbrook.

Recap: Day 1 of the trial

Both prosecution and defense spent the first several hours on Tuesday presenting arguments, initial evidence and previewing who will be testifying throughout the trial.

McCandless is pleading not guilty to a 1st degree intentional homicide charge.

The prosecutors opening statement consisted of gruesome details, including locations of the stabbings – like the back of the head, groin area and three times across the neck.

A big emphasis of the opening statement was McCandless changing her story to investigators.

In audio played in the courtroom, McCandless at first said Woodworth had carved the word “boy” into her arm with a knife. She later confessed to investigators that it had been her own doing.

Another focus was the lack of Woodworth’s DNA on McCandless. The district attorney said the DNA was only found on scratches near McCandless’ pelvic area.

The defense refuted the prosecution’s statements, saying the entire event was an act of self-defense stirred by previous trauma from previous relationships, including with Woodworth.

The defense also included evidence of Woodworth’s journal entries which they say was aggressive in nature.

The first testimony was heard on Tuesday, including statements from the victim’s mother, grandmother and the medical examiner.

The defense said it will be calling in multiple medical experts to testify on behalf of McCandless’ mental diagnosis of PTSD and the effects trauma has on the brain.

The trial continues on Wednesday and is expected to last several weeks.


McKenna Alexander

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