Phyllis Nelson testified in her own defense in a Cedar Rapids courtroom Thursday afternoon. Charged with killing her estranged husband a year ago, Nelson has said that while she stabbed him, she never intended the wound to be fatal. On the witness stand, she was prompted by her attorney, William Kutmus. She says she held the knife straight out in front so he would see it and stay away. Nelson says she came around the corner and her husband came right into the knife.Nelson testified during the trial that their relationship deteriorated after he began having an affair with his secretary. She told the judge sometimes their confrontations “got rough” and that one time he pushed his daughter. Phyllis Nelson said the morning her husband died, she’d gone to his apartment in Cedar Rapids to tell him she was signing divorce papers, and says he got violent and she went to the kitchen and took a paring knife, but her husband rounded a corner and ran into the blade. She said at first she thought he was just stunned. Throughout her testimony, Nelson maintained that though she stabbed him, it was not on purpose. She says it was absolutely an accident. 55-year-old Phyllis Nelson waived her right to a jury trial, so Judge Thomas Horan will decide the case.
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