Opening arguments began in a Jury Trial for a Johnstown man, Paul Lehman. He’s accused of killing 19-year-old Deontaye Hurling on Thanksgiving day in 2018.
According to Witnesses who testified on Tuesday, Paul Lehman bought drugs from Deyontae Hurling. But in 2018, Lehman and Hurling got into an argument which led to Lehman stabbing Hurling 46 times and smashing a fish tank over Hurling’s head.
The Commonwealth said during their opening statements, this will be a quote “straightforward case” because of Lehman’s confession to killing Hurling. In a recorded phone conversation played in Court, the Commonwealth’s Witness and Hurling’s friend, Jessica Wilson called Lehman the day after Hurling was found dead inside a duplex on the 800 Block of Steel St. During the phone call, Lehman told Wilson he stabbed Hurling until he was no longer moving. In background of the recorded phone call, you could hear multiple people crying. Lehman went on to say during that phone call, that Hurling had threatened to kill him because he did not pay or trade anything for the drugs Hurling gave Lehman.
Lehman says Hurling reached for the back of his pants, which is when Lehman took a knife from his pocket and stabbed Hurling. Lehman says he believed Hurling was reaching for a gun, which is why the Defense says Lehman stabbed Hurling, so Lehman could stay alive.
The Defense says Lehman had no intention of killing Hurling.