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For week ended June 20, 1999 Posted 19 Jun 1999

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Falater takes stand today

Summarized by Eileen Bell

Falater takes stand today
(Phoenix) AZ Republic 16Jun99 L8
By Jerry Kammer The Arizona Republic


Prosecution challenges Falater witness
(Phoenix) AZ Republic 15Jun99 L8
By Jerry Kammer The Arizona Republic
Suggests report by psychologist was falsified

The 43 year old LDS man charged with murdering his wife is taking the stand on his own behalf. Scott Falater of Arizona stabbed his wife Yarmila 44 times, but his defense claims that Brother Falater was sleep-walking when it happened.

Defense lawyer Michael Kimerer thinks a jury would want to hear from someone presenting an unusual story. "In a case like this, the jury wants to hear from the defendant, to evaluate what he says and to judge him as a man."

Other witnesses have testified about Brother Falater's being a devout Mormon. They said he's known for kindness and decency, and some called him a harmless "nerd."

Sleep disorder experts have testified that they believe Brother Falater was in a deep sleep during the attack. Rosalind Cartwright of Chicago told the court, "I believe he's the purest case I've seen with an act of violence of this kind."

The accused says he has no memory of the stabbing. He and his wife were married for 20 years. They have two teenaged children. Both 17 year old Megan and 15 year old Michael testified about their parents having a loving marriage. They said there had never been violence in it. The prosecutor is suggesting that the Falater's relationship was under pressure.

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