By Associated Press - Monday, September 15, 2014

MADISON, Neb. (AP) - A man accused of fatally stabbing another man in Norfolk went on trial for the second time Monday, this time without a jury, after the Nebraska Supreme Court ordered a new hearing.

De’Aris Trice, 24, was convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of 27-year-old Timothy Warren in December 2010, and he was sentenced to between 40 years and life in prison. But the high court overturned the conviction in July 2013, saying it found fault in an instruction given to jurors who heard the case in November 2011.

His second trial is being held before only a judge in Madison County District Court.

According to court records, Warren and another man began fighting at a house party before others joined the fight or tried to break it up. Trice’s brother testified that Trice later admitted to stabbing Warren in an effort to protect himself and his brother. Prosecutors said the party included people who had left a bar that closed at 1 a.m.

Jurors were instructed to convict Trice of second-degree murder if they found that he had killed intentionally but without premeditation. The jury was further instructed that only if prosecutors failed to prove one of those elements could it consider whether Trice had committed manslaughter, a lesser offense.

The state Supreme Court ruled that Trice’s jury should have been allowed to consider whether the killing was intentional but provoked by a sudden quarrel, and therefore constituted manslaughter.

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