Traverse City Record-Eagle

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October 26, 2011

Schwander 'never wanted to kill Carly'

TRAVERSE CITY — Robert Jensen Schwander’s fate soon will be in a jury’s hands.

Assistant Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg delivered her closing statement in Schwander’s murder trial this morning, and defense attorney Craig Elhart will weigh in after a lunch break. The case then will go to the jury.

Schwander is charged with an open count of murder in Carly Lewis’ June 2 death.

Schwander could be convicted of first-degree murder — which requires premeditation — second-degree murder, or manslaughter. Moeggenburg contends Schwander planned to kill Lewis and eventually stabbed her to death; Elhart said he accidentally strangled her during a heated argument.

Schwander was on the stand this morning. He said he put her in a choke hold in an attempt to calm her down, and it killed her.

“I never wanted to kill Carly Lewis,” he said.

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