John Wayne Cravens of McPherson was found guilty of attempted second degree murder  in McPherson County District Court Friday night.


John Wayne Cravens of McPherson was found guilty of attempted second degree murder  in McPherson County District Court Friday night.
 Cravens was  charged with second degree attempted murder for the stabbing of a girlfriend, Shelby Coffin, 34.
The jury returned its verdict at just before 7 p.m. Friday after about four hours of deliberations.
Cravens and Coffin were living together in the 800 block of West Lincoln Street when Cravens allegedly attacked Coffin on the night of June 27.
In closing arguments Friday, the case came down to an alleged confession versus reasonable doubt.
County Attorney David Page said in closing arguments a highly intoxicated Cravens stabbed Coffin after an argument, possibly over sex. Defense Attorney Randy Fisher argued there was no physical evidence to link his client to the crime. He portrayed Coffin as emotionally unstable and suggested she made up the story about Cravens stabbing her and may have even stabbed herself.
Dr. Clayton Fetsch testified today Coffin had stab wounds in her lower back, abdomen and upper chest when she was brought into the McPherson emergency room in critical condition on June 27.
Coffin was taken into emergency surgery were repairs were made to her small intestine.
Coffin and Cravens were both significantly intoxicated when police first arrived on the scene, and a blood test at the hospital indicated Coffin had methamphetamine in her system, although Fetsch said there was no way to know when she took the illegal drugs.
Although Coffin told police immediately after the attack and the days following Cravens was the one who attacked her, she testified this week she does not remember exactly what happened the night of the stabbing.
Fisher argued in closing statements there was no motive for the crime, and told the jury the state had gathered no physical evidence to link Cravens to the crime. The blood on the knife was not tested, and no fingerprints were taken from the knife that was allegedly used in the attack.
“The detective said it was not worth the money. We don’t know what was on John’s clothing or what was under his fingernails because no one bothered to look,” Fisher said.
On rebuttal, Page said Cravens fingerprints were expected to be on the knife because it belonged to Cravens and was being used in his house. DNA from the victim also would be expected to be found under Cravens’ fingernails as he and Coffin were having sexual relations.
Page also focused attention in his closing statements on Cravens’ alleged confession.
One of the law enforcement officers on the scene on the night of the stabbing said Cravens told him he stabbed Coffin, saying “I did it.”
Page said Cravens then told the officer where the kitchen knife used in the stabbing could be found.
However, Fisher said Cravens had thought the officer had been asking him if he had called 911 and, in his drunken stupor, had wrongly answered the question.
Although Coffin was sequestered during testimony, she was allowed to be in the court for closing arguments. Friends and family supporting both Cravens and Coffin were in the courtroom Friday to hear closing arguments in the case.
Cravens will be sentenced at 9 a.m. Dec. 20. Cravens faces four and a half to 20 and half years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $300,000.