Defense admits to killing ex-girlfriend, calls it manslaughter

Kelly Doyle (source: family friend)
Kelly Doyle (source: family friend)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Opening statements have begun in the murder trial of the man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend.

Police say Nicholas Salfi stabbed Kelly Doyle to death in January 2010 at a home in eastern Jefferson County.

Salfi is also charged with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing Doyle's new boyfriend, Payton Thomas.

Prosecutors told the jury in Salfi's trial Tuesday morning that he used a key to the house he and Doyle used to share and found her sleeping in bed, fully clothed, with Thomas.

"Payton makes it out of the house but trips in the yard and Nick catches him and continues to stab him," said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jeremy Reed.

Thomas eventually made his way to a neighbor's house where the neighbor called for help.

Prosecutors say Salfi then went back inside and stabbed Doyle more than 60 times.

" A little baby boy will hold his mother no more because Nicholas Salfi brutally strangled her and stabbed her over 60 times," Reed said.  "We can only pray that she was dead on the first stab."

The couple's infant child, Cian, was sleeping in the home at the time, in the same room where the attack started.

Salfi's attorney, Mac Adams, opened up the defense's case by admitting his client is going to prison.

"He killed Kelly Doyle," Adams said.  "We're not going to disagree about who did what in this when Nick's concerned. We're not going to disagree about where it happened. We're not going to disagree about when it happened."

However, Adams urged jurors to understand, "the why." He said Salfi was struggling with the breakup and thought he and Doyle would reunite, before having those hopes end when he spotted Thomas' vehicle in Doyle's driveway.

"You have to understand that Kelly had told Nick that she wasn't seeing anybody at this time, not when they had talked," Adams said.  "She wasn't going to have any men over at the house around Cian. She told him that, left him thinking that he may have a chance as well."

After opening statements, Doyle's father, Paul Doyle took the witness stand.

He recalled the last holiday with his daughter, Christmas Eve, which was ten days before Kelly's death.

"Christmas Eve was wonderful," Paul Doyle said.  "It was all of Kelly's family. We always have a tradition in the family of a Doyle Christmas Eve."

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