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Wayne County, WV murder case expected to go to the jury Thursday

Working on an insanity defense, accused murderer Clinton Skeens took the witness stand in his own defense on Wednesday.

The 53-year-old Skeens is charged with stabbing his former Wayne High football coach Jess "Scott" Jarrell, 73, to death on New Year's Eve 2010.

Skeens said he was fond of Jarrell and greatly respected him as his coach and mentor. But he testified that an onset of insanity beginning in 2001 led him to many mental health units, to heavy medications -- and he began to follow escalating hallucinations of good and bad angels.

Skeens said calmly to the jury that in his tortured mind, a great man like Coach Jarrell was flipped - and turned into an evil CIA operative who threatened his family and had to be killed.

"I went in the house and asked coach if he knew the CIA," Skeens testified. "He said no. I said, 'I have to kill you.' He said why? I said, 'Because you killed my family.' I stabbed him two or three times and I don't remember anything else about what happened there."

Skeens did not remember that Jarrell was stabbed 43 times. A state psychiatrist testified that Skeens is faking insanity and was competent at the time of Jarrell's death.

The case is expected to go to the jury late Thursday morning.


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