Duncan Convicted of 3rd Degree Murder - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Duncan Convicted of 3rd Degree Murder

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An Erie County jury, perhaps searching for middle ground, convicted James Duncan of 3rd degree murder for the stabbing death of Nikkia Sawyer in her apartment in June of 2011.

It was not the first degree murder verdict prosecutors were seeking, a verdict that could have led to the death penalty.

But it probably means decades in jail for Duncan, who left the courtroom hurling foul language at the attorneys and family members seated in Judge Dan Brabender's courtroom.

The verdict is something of a surprise to onlookers given the nature of the crime; Sawyer was stabbed or cut some 60 times, a number of which penetrated her heart and could have been fatal.

Third degree murder is a life taken with malice but without a specific intent to kill.

Duncan will be sentenced for the murder, aggravated assault, abuse of a corpse and other crimes associated with the murder September 10th.

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