Jurors convict Salfi of murder and assault

Kelly Doyle (source: courtroom photo)
Kelly Doyle (source: courtroom photo)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Manslaughter or murder? That's the question a Louisville jury faced Monday. Nick Salfi is on trial for the January 2010 killing of his ex-girlfriend and the attack on her new boyfriend. Late Monday afternoon, the jury came back with a guilty verdict for murdering Kelly Doyle and first degree assault on Payton Thomas. Salfi was acquitted of a tampering with physical evidence charge.

Both sides admitted Doyle's death was a brutal killing, but they disagree on what was behind it.

Doyle was choked, beaten and stabbed more than 60 times in her home on Cain Lane in east Louisville on January 2, 2010.

"He keeps stabbing her, hitting her, strangling her until she's no longer moving," Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Katherine Kingren told jurors during closing arguments. "That's why Kelly has so many injuries is because she fought."

Salfi is also accused of trying to kill Doyle's new boyfriend, Payton Thomas.

Thomas was beaten and stabbed in the back, and police say Salfi chased him to a neighbor's house where Thomas called police.

"The defendant's only goal that night was to kill Kelly and anyone who stood in his way," Kingren added.

Prosecutors say Salfi was trying to regain control over Doyle because she had broken up with him.

"The defendant who had lost all control of Kelly Doyle, gained ultimate control," Kingren said. "His every move was planned. His every move was intentional from quietly sneaking in to opening the door with a key to locking the door behind him to driving himself safely to Mount Washington. These are not the actions of a crazed man."

Defense attorneys have admitted Salfi killed Doyle, but say Salfi should be convicted of manslaughter and assault under extreme emotional distress because he was overcome with rage after he saw Thomas' car in Doyle's driveway.

"He was out of his mind when he walked in there," said Salfi's attorney Mac Adams. "He was out of his mind. His judgement was gone. He was under the influence of something that he just could not contain. He could not handle and he couldn't control."

Adams says the chaos of the Cain Lane house proved Salfi was out of his mind.

"Do you think that somebody who planned this did that?" Adams said. "She was stabbed 60 times in the back and the medical examiner testified 3/4 inch stab wounds. They were only this deep. He was just doing this and as tragic as that is -- because it is; it's pure awful -- but it just shows you what his state of mind was."

Jurors will return Tuesday morning to start deciding Salfi's sentence for murder and assault.

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