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Man convicted in Aberdeen stabbing death asks for new trial

ABERDEEN (AP) -- An attorney for an Aberdeen man convicted in the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend last year says his client deserves a new trial.

ABERDEEN (AP) - An attorney for an Aberdeen man convicted in the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend last year says his client deserves a new trial.

John Hemminger, 34, was convicted last month of premeditated murder in the killing of 26-year-old Jessica Goebel. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Authorities say Goebel was stabbed in her home more than 20 times on Jan. 6, 2015. She died in a Sioux Falls hospital a week later.

In a court filing, defense attorney Tom Cogley argues that prosecutor Chris White made an inappropriate statement during closing arguments. White told the jury that defense attorneys could have presented more than 49 of the 500 text messages between Goebel and Hemminger as evidence, according to the Aberdeen American News.

Hemminger's attorneys objected to the comment and asked for a mistrial, saying that it shifted the burden of proof from the prosecution to the defense. After a short conference with attorneys, Judge Scott Myren denied the motion.

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Cogley wrote that White's statement prejudiced the jury because it was made during the closing arguments and, thus, couldn't be countered by the defense.

Prosecutors haven't responded to the motion.

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