Defense in thrill killing tries to shift blame to other young man and his family( Michael Russell )

Jae Williams is a "nice kid" who merely put on a "tough-guy persona," not a thrill-seeking killer who helped butcher a 15-year-old Santa Teresa High School classmate, his lawyer contended Tuesday during the third week of his murder trial.

 In a feisty opening statement, Williams' lawyer Lewis Romero tried to debunk nearly every aspect of the prosecution's case -- including the cause of victim Michael Russell's death, which he claimed was strangulation, not stabbing.


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