McVay takes the stand in sentencing trial - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

McVay takes the stand in sentencing trial

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Admitted killer James McVay took the stand in his sentencing trial Friday afternoon.

McVay has pleaded guilty but mentally ill in the 2011 stabbing death of Sioux Falls hospice nurse Maybelle Schein.

Throughout his testimony, McVay repeatedly said he never wanted this sentencing trial to happen, saying he's simply allowing his attorneys to fight for his life. However, he says he is willing to accept any outcome.

Still McVay asserted that he is no longer a danger to others.

"If I was dangerous, then why am I not handcuffed? There are people here that would be perfect to hurt…but I haven't," said James McVay on the witness stand.

Before that statement, McVay outlines the details of Maybelle Schein's murder.

"The whole thing happened so fast...it took maybe 30 seconds for her to bleed out after I struck her artery," said McVay.

He also detailed Schein's struggle.

"You might call her an elder lady at 75, but she fought from beginning to end," said McVay.

His statements brought tears to the eyes of Schein's friends and family in the courtroom.

When State's Attorney Aaron McGowan asked McVay if he considers killing a 75-year-old woman to be depraved McVay responded:

"Yes, but that doesn't define me right now," said McVay.

He asserted that his actions should not define him as a person.

"I don't consider anyone evil. That's just a term we use to describe people," said McVay.

McGowan also gave the jurors a look at McVay's past homicidal tendencies, asking him about several threats he gave to doctors and inmates during his previous incarcerations.

"I decided I was going to do what you people can't do. I decided I was going to eliminate gang affiliates in the prison," said McVay when asked about his thoughts on killing a child rapist in the prison

McVay said he would have killed the rapist if he had the chance. When McGowan asked if he would harm any other inmates throughout the rest of his incarceration, McVay said no—he is no longer a dangerous person.

The sentencing trial is expected to wrap up early next week, but over the weekend the 12 jurors have been released as they consider whether or not to deliver the death penalty.

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