Lexington County, SC (WLTX) - The murder trial in Lexington County deciding the fate of former Lexington County High School student Kierin Dennis began Monday.
Dennis is charged with the murder of 17-year-old Dutch Fork High School student Da'Von Capers.
Dennis was 18-years-old at the time when the two crossed paths in the parking lot of a local Cook Out in February 2014 after a basketball game between the two schools.
According to testimonies Capers approached Dennis who was inside his car. Dennis is said to have then stabbed Capers before driving off.
On Monday Dennis was dressed in a suit. His hair was cut short. Family and friends of both the defendant and deceased were in the courtroom.
Attorneys on both sides gave their opening statements and questioned six different witnesses from that night including Lexington County investigators, an emergency medical technician and a former Dutch Fork student.
Prosecutor Rhonda Patterson said that Dennis let his emotions get the best of him causing him to stab Capers.
"The defendant who had already graduated, just couldn't back down. He couldn't be run off from his town. He couldn't be disrespected, so he made one bad decision after another bad decision, after another bad decision and his bad decisions unfortunately caused Da'Von Capers his young life," Patterson said.
Todd Rutherford, the attorney representing Dennis said that Dennis was outnumbered feared for himself and his friends and reacted in self defense.
"Mr. Dennis acted and he did so, based on what you would do. Based on what a reasonable person would do in that same scenario. We believe that he did exactly that. And while unfortunate, we believe that he had no choice," said Rutherford.
The trial will resume Tuesday at 9 a.m..