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Teen to stand trial for 2016 killing
Judicial-Building - WEB

COVINGTON, Ga. - A judge has ruled that a 17-year-old from Oxford will stand trial for a 2016 stabbing that left an 18-year-old dead.

During a hearing in Newton County Superior Court May 16, Quran Ali Knighton’s attorney, Jeff Banks, made a motion for immunity from prosecution.  Knighton is charged with two counts of murder, aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a felony in the death of Markice Harris.

The defense contends that Knighton was acting in self-defense when he stabbed Harris during a fight outside the Wesleyan Subdivision on Boogers Hill Road in Oxford last May.

According to Newton County Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Candice Branche, during the hearing, which resembled a mini trial, the defense bears the burden of putting up evidence of self-defense. If the defense is able to prove their client acted in self-defense, the prosecution cannot go forward with the charges. Branche said the prosecution can re-butt the evidence and cross examine any witnesses, as well as call their own witnesses.

Branche said in Tuesday’s hearing, after listening to testimony from two witnesses, Alcovy Judicial Circuit Judge John M. Ott felt that the defense had not carried its burden.

The trial date has not been set.