- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) - A woman told jurors that her son didn’t help her fatally stab her boyfriend’s mother last year, and that he only helped her move the woman’s body.

Shelley Casterline, 41, testified Tuesday that her 24-year-old son, Andrew Casterline, only helped her move Virginia Barone’s body after she killed Barone during an argument at Barone’s home in Guide Rock.

Prosecutors allege that Andrew Casterline helped his mother attack Barone, who was stabbed twice in the back and 20 times in the chest and torso. He is charged with first-degree murder and two other crimes. Shelley Casterline pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder and is scheduled to be sentenced Monday.

Barone’s body was found partially covered by boards in her home on Oct. 5. The Casterlines were arrested that day in Newton, Iowa, accused of mugging a woman in a parking lot.

Shelley Casterline said she had a stormy relationship with Barone, who was the mother of her live-in boyfriend, Ronald Jamilowski. She said she went to Barone’s house to retrieve her cellphone and some clothes but got into an argument with Barone. She said Barone struck her, and that she became enraged and grabbed a knife.

“I stabbed her in the back first, blacked out in rage,” Casterline said. “The next thing I remember my son is in the doorway saying, ‘What are you doing, Mom?’”

She said she tossed the knife into a cornfield.

Prosecutors said her statements differed from what she told investigators and that Shelley Casterline was lying to protect her son.

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