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UPDATE: Jury convicts husband in wife's fatal stabbing

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UPDATE: Jurors have convicted a La Crosse man of homicide in the death of his wife. 

The jury deliberated for about 30 minutes before reaching the verdict in the trial of Haron Joyner. 

He was convicted on one count of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide.

Joyner showed no emotion when the verdict was read. His attorney, Michael Covey, said his client is remorseful.

"He has no criminal record and he is absolutely horrified by what he did," Covey said. "He truly does feel sorry for what he did."

The trial lasted a day and a half, something Covey said is unusual for a homicide trial. However, he said he did want to put the young children involved in the case through any more trauma.

"This case involves young children and we really wanted to respect these younger kids and not put them through any kind of trauma and we worked hard to limit the questioning," he said. "We wanted to make it as good of an experience as it could be, but that was tough, that was very difficult to have to talk to those kids."

The victims's family didn't want to talk on camera but tells WXOW that they were pleased with the verdict. 

Following the conviction, Judge Scott Horne scheduled sentencing for Joyner for February 7, 2017. He faces life in prison during sentencing. 

UPDATE: Jury deliberations are underway in the trial of a La Crosse man in the fatal stabbing of his wife. 

Testimony wrapped up on the second day of the trial for Haron Joyner. He's charged with one count of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide in the death of his wife Jessica, during an argument in March.

Jurors began their deliberations around 2:40 p.m. 

We'll provide updates on this story as it develops.

A jury is hearing testimony in the trial of a La Crosse man accused of fatally stabbing his wife in their apartment in March.

The trial for Haron Joyner on a charge of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide began Monday morning in La Crosse County Circuit court before Judge Scott Horne.

His attorney, Michael Covey, said he does not dispute the fact Joyner stabbed his wife, Jessica, in their home. However, he doesn't believe Joyner should be convicted of first degree intentional homicide. Instead, he believes the correct charge is first degree reckless homicide.

 "What he did though violent and horrific and criminally reckless, it will be crystal clear that it was not done intentionally, Covey said. "The stabbing was not an accident but he did not intend to actually kill her."

In opening arguments, Comey pointed to events before and after the incident that he believes shows Joyner did not act with intent, but rather just "snapped."

"It happened so suddenly that there was no time for him to form that intent," he told the jury. "It was an instinctually violent action."

Officers from the La Crosse Police Department who were first on scene testified on behalf of the state.

Officer Aaron Westpfahl, who had only been on the department for two weeks, was first on scene.

"I saw the victim lying on her back, a large pool of blood around here and a group of children standing in a horseshoe around her, who were screaming," he said.

Westpfahl said he applied pressure to Joyner's neck stab wound upon arrival, but testified she was non-responsive and very pale in color.

La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke told the jury he believes Joyner acted with intent when he stabbed his wife and then went on to lie about the incident after he was arrested.

Covey, on the other hand, said he does not blame anyone but Joyner for what happened.

"You're going to hate this guy after a couple of days, if you don't already hate him right now," he said.

Later this week, recordings will be played for the jury of interviews with the couple's five children. The trial is expected to wrap up by the end of the week,


Authorities: Husband stabbed wife in front of children

Fatal La Crosse stabbing suspect pleads not guilty

According to police, the stabbing occurred in front of five children. He was arrested several hours later and has remained in custody since that time. 

The trial is scheduled to last all week.

We'll update this story as more details become available during the trial.

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