- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The evidence against a Milwaukee man convicted of killing his girlfriend with an ice pick was overwhelming, the Wisconsin Supreme Court said Tuesday, rejecting his argument that he deserves a new trial because he wasn’t allowed to testify.

In a 6-1 ruling, the court affirmed the 2010 conviction of Eddie Lee Anthony in the stabbing death of Sabrina R. Junior. Anthony never denied killing Junior, but wanted to testify that the killing was done in self-defense.

The Supreme Court said there was no error in disallowing his testimony. And if a mistake was made in excluding the testimony, the court said, it was irrelevant because of all the evidence against him.

Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson dissented, saying Anthony was denied his constitutional right to testify on his own behalf.

Anthony’s attorney, Kimberly Alderman, did not return a message seeking comment. Attorney General Brad Schimel, who heads the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which prosecuted the case, praised the decision.

“Today’s ruling demonstrated the Supreme Court will not permit a defendant to make mockery of the trial process,” he said in a statement.

According to court records, Anthony stabbed Junior 45 times during an argument in their Milwaukee home. Their 11-year-old daughter, who was hiding in a closet with two other children, told police she saw her father follow her mother into the bedroom with a 10-inch ice pick and heard her mother scream. After the screaming stopped, she saw her father pack clothes in a suitcase and leave.

Junior’s 17-year-old daughter, who left the house during the argument, returned and found her mother’s body.

Anthony claimed he acted in self-defense and planned to testify at trial. But the judge refused to let him take the stand after he insisted on bringing up a wrongful armed robbery conviction in 1966 that was irrelevant to the homicide case. Anthony then became agitated, according to the Supreme Court order, and pledged to talk about other unrelated issues.

The trial court then determined that Anthony had forfeited his right to testify. The Supreme Court said the lower court was correct in disallowing the testimony and that even if it had been wrong there was so much evidence against him that his lack of testimony did not matter.


Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sbauerAP

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