(WHEATON) A Wheaton man accused of using a kitchen knife to stab his neighbor to death in front of the man’s friends was found guilty of the 2009 murder by a jury in west suburban DuPage County on Friday.
The jury deliberated for over five hours before returning a verdict that found Michael Delaney guilty of First-Degree murder, according to the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office.
Prosecutors alleged that Delaney stabbed his neighbor Michael Scalzo in June of 2009 while Scalzo and some friends were working in his garage in the 700 block of Crescent Boulevard.
Before the stabbing Delaney is said to have threatened the men, prosecutors said. Later he approached the garage and summoned his neighbor. When the Scalzo was within arms-reach, Delaney purportedly pulled the man’s shirt over his head and stabbed him six times with a kitchen knife before fleeing, prosecutors said.
Throughout the four-day trial Delaney maintained he acted in self-defense, but DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin questioned that claim in a statement released by his office after the verdict.
In the statement Berlin thanked the jury “for seeing through Mr. Delaney’s lies and ridiculous claim of self-defense.”
“More than three and one half years ago, Michael Scalzo was stabbed to death by Michael Delaney,” Berlin said. “Today, Mr. Delaney learned that he will be held responsible for the cold-blooded murder.”
Delaney faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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