The Minnesota Supreme Court reversed a South St. Paul man’s murder convictions after finding that his attorney conceded elements of guilt against the defendant’s wishes.
The decision issued Wednesday returns Thomas M. Luby’s case to the courts for a new trial. Luby, 60, was charged in Dakota County District Court in 2015 with one count each of first-degree and second-degree murder for fatally stabbing his girlfriend, Kelly Ann Anderson, 45, after eight days of heavy drinking.
Jurors convicted him in 2016 of both counts.
Luby appealed his conviction, citing ineffective counsel and noting that although he admitted to killing Anderson, he was too drunk at the time to form intent for the act.
“… Luby argues that defense counsel expressly conceded his guilt when, during his closing argument, he told the jury that he was ‘not really disputing the premeditation part’ of first-degree murder…,” said the court’s decision. The case was sent back to district court.
Luby told police that Anderson was upset with him and stabbed him in the neck, prompting him to act in self-defense. Police found Anderson on the living floor with a large kitchen knife in her right hand.