Countdown to jury's deliberation begins as evidence concludes in Northampton teenager's murder trial
A trial over the murder of a Northampton teenager is drawing to a close after more than two months of evidence.
Yesterday (April 4), the defence cases over the killing of Liam Hunt were closed, leaving only closing statements and a summing up by the judge left until the decision is turned over to the jury.
Seven young men are standing trial for Liam's murder after the 17-year-old was fatally stabbed in the neck during a knife fight in February last year.
In the last eight weeks, the jury has heard how the alleged attack was fueled by revenge after an earlier fistfight between Liam and one of the defendants, James Dodd, 19, from Northampton.
Yesterday, Dodd stood down from the witness box after he finished giving evidence to the court.
Out of the seven defendants, only he and Kane Allaban-Hamilton, 18, from Camp Hill, have given evidence in court and opened themselves up to cross-examination.
The other five boys - aged between 17 and 20 - declined the chance to take the stand, drawing the evidence phase in the case to a close.
Earlier this month, one of the defendants - who cannot be named because of his young age - was cleared of any part in the killing by the judge and was released on bail.
He is still charged with violent public disorder, as are his co-defendants.
Today (April 5), the prosecution is expected to make their closing arguments for why the six remaining young men should all be convicted of murder.
The jury has been given the option to convict any of the defendants for manslaughter as an alternative to murder.
The prosecution case is that Dodd gathered the other six boys and led them to St George's Street, off Barrack Road, where Liam was killed. They have pointed to Allaban-Hamilton as the one who inflicted the lethal neck wound.
But defence barristers say that not only did Dodd not lead the group to St George's Street, but he wasn't even liked by them and they "wouldn't lift a finger to help him" if he asked.
Meanwhile, Allaban-Hamilton claims Liam attacked him with a knife and he accidentally pushed the knife into Liam's neck in self-defence during a struggle.
The trial continues.