Linn County Metro

LIVE UPDATES: Nicholas Luerkens first-degree murder trial

Cedar Rapids man charged in former girlfriend's stabbing death at Marion Hy-Vee

Nicholas Luerkens (from left) look at an enlarged photograph of the crime scene as his attorneys, Sarah Hradek and David Grinde, ask a question during his trial in Linn County District Court on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. Luerkens is accused of first-degree murder in the death of his former girlfriend Lynnsey Donald in the parking lot of the Marion Hy-Vee on April 21. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Nicholas Luerkens (from left) look at an enlarged photograph of the crime scene as his attorneys, Sarah Hradek and David Grinde, ask a question during his trial in Linn County District Court on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. Luerkens is accused of first-degree murder in the death of his former girlfriend Lynnsey Donald in the parking lot of the Marion Hy-Vee on April 21. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The defense continues its case at 9 a.m. today in the Nicholas Luerkens first-degree murder trial in Linn County District Court.

Luerkens, 33, of Cedar Rapids, is accused of killing former girlfriend Lynnsey Donald, 29, in the parking lot of the Marion Hy-Vee on April 21. According to testimony Tuesday, Luerkens planned and started following Donald after she broke up with him and wouldn't reconcile. Donald was stabbed 32 times in the neck, chest and stomach area and her back, according to the autopsy.

Luerkens' parents testified Wednesday how their son changed after Donald broke up with him and he lost his job. He was depressed, and his parents said his behavior became worse after he started taking an antidepressant.

The defense claims Luerkens had diminished capacity at the time of the killing.

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