Charlevoix County Murder Trial: Jury To Begin Deliberation

A jury will now decide the fate of Matthew Fruge, whether or not he’s guilty of murdering his friend or not guilty by reason of insanity.

The jury will begin deliberation first thing Thursday morning.

They’re deciding whether or not Fruge is guilty of killing his friend Jacob Conklin.

Back in October of 2015, police say Fruge was found on top of Conklin, covered in blood and a bloody knife nearby outside Fruge’s Charlevoix County home.

Fruge’s wife told 911 dispatchers she thought her husband was on drugs.

Fruge was ruled competent to stand trial in January.

The judge adjourned court for the day and sent the jury home after three hours of closing arguments.

“If you stab someone 10 times the way Mr. Fruge stabbed Jake Conklin, I think we can infer that he intended to kill him,” says Charlevoix County Prosecutor Allen Telgenhof.

After seven days of testimony, Charlevoix County Prosecutor Allen Telgenhof asked for the verdict he’s called for since day one of the trial – a guilty verdict on first-degree murder.

The jury will also consider second-degree murder, manslaughter and the insanity defense.

“There was no adequate cause for this death. This is senseless, in any meaning of the word it’s senseless,” says Telgenhof.

He argues Fruge had time to think about has actions before he stabbed Conklin to death.

“He committed a crime, he caused the death of Jacob Conklin and I believe the evidence shows premeditation. I believe the evidence shows deliberation. I believe the evidence shows he’s guilty of first-degree murder,” says Telgenhof.

Fruge’s defense attorney reiterated the argument he’s used since the start of the trial; that Fruge was insane when he stabbed Conklin

“It doesn’t matter how he looks now, it doesn’t matter what his clinical diagnosis is now, it doesn’t matter what his mental state of mind is now, what matters is what it was on October 1st, 2015,” says defense attorney Bryan Klawuhn.

The jury starts deliberation Thursday morning.