The fate of Troy Mondragon is now in the hands of a jury as his first–degree attempted murder trial wraps up Thursday at the Mesa County Justice Center. Mondragon has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to stabbing acquaintance Nathan Swartzell 27 times in March of 2003 at a home in Grand Junction. Swartzell did survive and testified during the trial, identifying Mondragon as his attacker. In closing arguments Thursday, the prosecution tried to convince the jury that although Troy Mondragon shows signs of anti–social personality disorder he's not mentally ill and was not suffering from a manic psychosis at the time of the stabbing as one psychiatrist for the defense suggested this week. The physical evidence in the case includes an eyewitness who puts someone matching Mondragon's description at the scene where bloody clothing and a bloody knife matching Swatzell's blood were found and witnesses who say Mondragon set fire to items that later were identified as clothing and shoes. The defense says the prosecution's eyewitnesses are unreliable, and there's no DNA evidence linking the bloody items to Mondragon. The jury did adjourn for the evening shortly after five o'clock and will pick up deliberations first thing Friday morning.
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