Court Affirms Duluth Murder Verdict

By KBJR News 1

Court Affirms Duluth Murder Verdict

April 15, 2013 Updated Apr 15, 2013 at 2:01 PM CDT

(NNCNOW.com)--The Minnesota Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision to find Stephen Cobenais guilty of 2nd Degree Murder, despite the district court abusing its discretion by allowing the state to wrongfully introduce evidence.

Cobenais was found guilty in November of 2011 for the 2009 murder of Mario Highler in Duluth.

Cobenais appealed that decision by arguing the state introduced evidence of he [Cobenais] alleging punching an Douglas County Jail inmate in face before the murder trial.

At trial, three people testified about the jail incident, and a portion of surveillance video was shown to the jury.

The Court of Appeals, in it's decision released Monday states the evidence regarding the jail incident was not relevant and the court abused its discretion by admitting it.

The court also states that the error is reversible and there was an overwhelming amount of evidence finding Cobenais guilty.

Because of this fact, the court affirmed the guilty verdict from 2011, upholding the convection of 2nd degree intentional murder.

Written for the web by Zach Vavricka