Jury deliberating after closing arguments in 2016 stabbing death

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – After a four-day trial, the fate of the suspect in a 2016 stabbing is now in the hands of a jury.

The incident started as an argument on social media and ended with a fight that turned deadly.

James Stevens, the suspect, was the last person to take the stand in Providence Superior Court Friday morning. Stevens does not deny that he stabbed the victim, 24-year-old Jasper Williams to death, but said he was fighting for his own life

“I just came from a struggle for my life,” said Stevens. “I don’t know what I said or what I didn’t say, I was just processing everything that just happened.”

Stevens is charged with killing Williams after a social media fight between the two turned deadly when Stevens drove to East Providence to confront Williams.

The state is pushing for a First-Degree Murder charge. Prosecutors allege Stevens knew exactly what he was doing when he drove to meet Williams in person. Stevens and his defense attorney are hinging their case on self-defense.

Williams had just been released from prison after being convicted in a different stabbing

Both sides argue the other brought the weapon to the fight, but Stevens fled the state after the fight and was arrested by U.S. Marshalls more than 2 weeks later in Texas.

“I was just not trying to be locked up”, said Stevens. “I was scared.”

In closing arguments, the defense said if the jury decides Stevens is guilty, it should only be of voluntary manslaughter.

Since no decision came Friday, family and friends of both sides will have to wait until at least Monday for a decision.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019