A trial began Tuesday afternoon for Venus Ann Sherard - who is the youngest female to be charged as an adult for murder.
Sherard, 18, was 16 when she was charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing of Ruby Kelly, 23, who was killed March 7, 1987, in a fight that erupted during a party at 1018 W. Seventh South.Prosecutor Kent Morgan, Salt Lake County attorney's office, told an eight-member jury that the evidence and testimony are sometimes conflicting and confused. But after all the evidence is presented, Morgan said, "You will find Venus Ann Sherard guilty of second-degree murder."
But defense attorney James Bradshaw told the jury his client should be acquitted.
"Venus Sherard will take the stand. She will tell you she stabbed Ruby Kelly. She will tell you she did it in self-defense," Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw said Sherard had a troubled youth because of her involvement in a gang, but that she was trying to change her life.
On the night of March 7, 1987, she could sense a fight was brewing at a party and tried to walk away from it but was attacked by people she didn't know and was forced to use a knife that a former gang friend placed into her hand.
"When she acted, she acted in self-defense," the defense attorney said.