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Defense gets turn in Mich. serial stabbings trial

Lawyers in Mich. serial stabbings trial poised to offer a difficult defense: mental illness By The Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. (AP) ' The defense is getting its turn in the first murder trial stemming from a series of summer stabbings in a Michigan community in 2010.

Attorneys for Elias Abuelazam (EE'-lee-us ah-BOOL'-ah-zahm) are prepared to argue Thursday that he was mentally ill at the time and didn't fully understand what he was doing. The Israeli immigrant is charged with the murder of Arnold Minor.

Minor's blood was found in Abuelazam's SUV and on his pants and shoes, authorities say. Fourteen people were stabbed in and around Flint two years ago, and five died.

Experts say an insanity defense is difficult because jurors still can convict someone of murder even if they also believe there was mental illness. Prosecutors have their own experts to rebut evidence that Abuelazam was mentally ill in 2010.

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