Littlewolf takes the stand in his own defense in Duluth murder trial

By KBJR News 1

September 24, 2013 Updated Sep 24, 2013 at 8:18 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- The man accused of a 2012 murder at the Francis Skinner Apartments in Duluth took the stand in his own defense today.

Joshua Littlewolf testified for nearly seven hours in St. Louis County Court in connection with the murder of Joshua Olson.

Since he was acting as his own attorney no one questioned him.

St. Louis County Chief Public Defender Fred Friedman says it's rare that someone being tried for murder represents themselves in court. In fact, it's never happened in Duluth before but is legally permissible.

Littlewolf has always claimed another perpetrator killed Joshua Olson. During his testimony, he said that two fights broke out at the house where Olson died, between Olson and Nakota Benjamin, who was originally charged for the murder of Olson.

Littlewolf went on to say that witnesses allegedly confused him with Nick Benjamin.

Littlewolf says around 3 am, Olson stepped on his ankle, upsetting Littlewolf. He then claims that he kicked Olson, knocking him down and Olson grabbed a knife.

Littlewolf testified that Olson came at him with the knife and a scuffle ensued, however Littlewolf was able to grab the knife. Littlewolf said he tried to elbow Olson in the face, but he swung too hard and his hand went back with the knife, slicing Olson's neck.

Littlewolf says he slammed Olson on the ground and punched him four or five times until he was unconscious. He then he said he left the knife used to slash Olson's neck on Olson's chest.

Littlewolf says he thought there was no way the "minimal cut" would be enough to kill Olson and that he was still alive when he left the apartment.

Littlewolf went on to say that the blood found on his shorts that matched Olson's was probably from the nosebleed Olson got while he was being punched.

During his testimony, Littlewolf said he had no knowledge of a murder and that if he knew Olson had been murdered, he would have run to Mexico or Canada.

Littlewolf also admitted that he made false statements to police that he should not have made.

Littlewolf testified that at the time of the murder, he was nearly $30,000 in debt and his fiancee had recently passed away. He claimed he was in a bad state of mind when he confessed to the murder and confessed because he didn't have anything more to lose and didn't care anymore.

At the end of his lengthy testimony, Littlewolf said he feels the truth is now out.

The prosecution got their turn to cross examine Littlewolf.

Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Stumme countered that Littlewolf's animosity towards Olson built up all day and when he stepped upon his ankle, that's all it took for Littlewolf to snap.

He said Littlewolf had time to call police, but he didn't because he knew Olson was dead and he knew that any claim of self-defense wouldn't be believed due to the brutality of the murder.

Stumme said Littlewolf slashed at Olson again and again. He alleges that Littlewolf then took the knife out of Olson's neck and cleaned it in the sink before placing it back on the stove where he had found it. He then placed another knife next to Olson's body and draped his body with a red bandana.

In regards to Littlewolf's testimony about his state of the mind at the time of a confession, Stumme asked Littlewolf "so you confessed to murder because you were upset over child support arrears and because you didn't have a driver's license?"

Littlewolf also never told investigators during initial questioning about the child support or loss of fiancee.

Littlewolf will get the chance to speak again Tuesday morning, if needed, before closing arguments are made and the jury is sent into deliberations.

Written and posted to the web by Krista Burns and Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com kburns@kbjr.com