Testimony begins today on Day Two in the trial of John Katehis, the 18-year-old Satan-worshiping knife collector who admitted to the bloody slaying of radio newsman George Weber during a rough sex-for-cash-hookup gone wrong. Katehis has plead not guilty to the murder of former ABC News radio personality, claiming he was acting in "self-defense" when he stabbed Weber at least 50 times in his Brooklyn apartment in March 2009.
At yesterday's opening arguments, defense attorneys portrayed the slain newsman as a drunk predator of teenaged boys who "lured" the then-16-year-old under false pretenses.
John Katehis went to George Weber's Brooklyn apartment in March 2009 believing he was going to earn $60 to help move boxes, defense lawyer Jeffrey Schwartz said in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn. Instead, Weber gave Katehis, then 16, alcohol and what the teen believed was cocaine and offered him the money in exchange for smothering and binding him for sexual gratification, Schwartz told jurors. "George Weber was a 47-year-old drunk predator of an underage boy by the name of John Katehis," Schwartz said. "He lured this 16-year-old boy to his lair."
Prosecutors portray Katehis as a willing participant who placed a Craigslist advertisement offering sex for money. Weber, who had a sexual fetish for being smothered "to the point of where he was close to passing out," responded to the ad, said prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi. The two exchanged e-mails and pictures before agreeing to meet at Weber's apartment, the prosecutor told the jury. "This was a vicious, brutal, intentional attack," the prosecutor told the jury, adding that the motive may "never be quite clear. He wasn't warding off any attack. He wasn't high or drunk," she said.
Defense attorneys have subpoenaed the contents of Weber's hard drives and are focusing on the fetishistic S&M scene. "There were ropes and tape for bondage, a camera, maybe to be used during the sex play," Schwartz said during opening arguments. "Weber did these things that were illegal and wrong to this child," he said.
The troubled teen claims Weber was accidentally killed during a cocaine-fueled bondage PNP session gone wrong. But investigators found no cocaine in Weber's apartment. Toxicology tests performed on Katehis after he was taken to the emergency room for cuts found no traces of the drug in his system, police say.
Some Background ...
Katehis: Not Guilty, Stabbed Newsman 50 Times in Self-Defense
Slain Newsman Should Have "Researched" Teen Killer
Rough Trade: 16 Year Old Satanist Confesses to Slaying
Teen Satanist Pleads "Not Guilty" to Bloody Slaying