Murder Trial Opening Arguments 16 Sep 11

Opening arguments got underway Thursday in the trial of a man accused of shooting his ex-wife to death in a Mankato parking lot. Joel Marvin Munt is charged with 1st-degree murder for allegedly killing Svetlana Munt in front of their 3 young children in March of 2010. The prosecution and defense outlined their cases on Thursday as the trial got underway, and evidence was displayed in the courtroom for the first time. Munt’s defense attorney did not dispute that he committed the murder, but did argue that it was not premeditated and will seek a lesser charge of 1st-degree manslaughter. They also plan to argue his innocence due to the state of his mental health. The Munt’s had reportedly been going through a lengthy custody battle at the time, and Joel Munt had accused Svetlana of child abuse. A total of 9 witnesses took the stand Thursday following the opening statements. The trial is expected to take up to 3 weeks.