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Woman takes stand, denies killing mother

JONESBORO — A Clayton County jury took about 20 minutes Wednesday afternoon to convict a Jonesboro woman of stabbing to death her mother last year.

Takeyia Guthridge, 25, will be sentenced today at 10 a.m. She faces a minimum of life in prison.

Prosecutor Jason Green said the state was satisfied with the verdict.

“We are very pleased with the verdict and the decisiveness with which the jury rendered it,” he said. “While we think all crimes, no matter how major or minor, deserve serious deliberation, this crime in particular was completely indefensible, horrible and irrefutable.”

Green said he was especially grateful for the swiftness of the decision. He’d asked the jury to not spend a lot of time deliberating, pointing out that the facts called for a quick verdict.

“The speed of their verdict speaks to the jury’s intelligence and powers of discernment,” he said.

Guthridge took the stand Wednesday morning and denied killing Deloise Adu, 44.

In direct contradiction of state witnesses, Guthridge testified that her relationship with Deloise Adu was fine, despite Adu evicting Guthridge from the family home on Carnes Estates Drive in Jonesboro.

“I didn’t have a problem leaving my mother’s house at all,” said Guthridge. “I went to my bedroom to look up shelters, I knew I had seven days to leave. I just got a call for a job as general manager for Burger King and I knew I could stay at a shelter.”

Guthridge testified that she fell asleep with her sister, Jessica, stepbrother Frank Adu, her mother and uncle all in the house.

“I walked out of my room, went downstairs and saw her body lounged on the couch,” she said. “I didn’t want anyone pointing fingers at me because we’d just come from court.”

Defense attorney Alfonso Kraft didn’t ask Guthridge if she killed her mother. Green didn’t cross-examine Guthridge. Kraft didn’t present any other witnesses or testimony.

In his statements to the jury, Kraft asked that they find that the state failed to prove its case and find Guthridge not guilty. He didn’t tell jurors his client was innocent or point the finger of guilt at another person.

Guthridge’s stepbrother, Frank Adu, testified Tuesday to seeing the stabbing.

“She’d already stabbed (Adu) multiple times but (Adu) was still struggling,” said Frank Adu.

Frank Adu, 20, returned to Clayton County from Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he is a Marine, to testify in the murder trial.

Frank Adu told Green he was watching television in the living room when he heard his stepmother screaming for help from the dining room.

Putting himself in Guthridge’s position, Frank Adu demonstrated on Green how she appeared to restrain and stab her mother. Green was seated in the witness chair and Adu put one knee on his lower body and held his upper body with his left arm while pretending to stab him with his right arm.

“She was mad and swung at me while also trying to get back to Mom to stab her again,” said Adu. “I grabbed her hand with the knife and we were both struggling. She wouldn’t let go and the knife broke. I heard my mom tell me to get help, to call 911.”

Adu, who ended up with the blade in his hand while Guthridge had the handle, said Guthridge begged him not to stab her. Adu said he ran with the knife blade in his hand to a neighbor’s house.

Adu said the two women argued over money. Guthridge had asked her mother for gas money so Deloise Adu asked Frank Adu to bring her purse, he testified.

However, the older woman railed against Guthridge, criticizing her for not having a job and refusing to help out around the house, said Adu. Earlier that same day, a Clayton County Magistrate Court judge ordered Guthridge’s evicted from the family home.

“Takeyia asked her if she was going to give her the money and Mom finally said no because Takeyia was ungrateful,” Adu testified. “Takeyia said Mom never helped her and Mom was telling her how often she’d helped her over the years.”

The state’s last witness Wednesday was medical examiner Steven Atkinson of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Atkinson identified photos of Deloise Adu in death and discussed the wounds that she suffered.

Atkinson said the two fatal stab wounds were ones that cut Deloise Adu’s heart, in the aorta and right ventricle.

“Those would have caused extensive bleeding,” he said. “Death would occur within minutes.”

Deloise Adu also suffered wounds to both arms, her face and head, the photos showed.

“The wound above her left eye on her forehead was where the knife went into her scalp, embedded and the tip broke off,” said Atkinson. “It would take a large amount of force to embed into the skull, which is very firm bone.”

Atkinson said the wounds indicated a path of front to back, slightly downward.

“They would be consistent with her being seated and her attacker standing over her,” he said.

During the testimony and displaying of photos, Guthridge sat with her chin resting in her hand. She showed no outward signs of emotional upset.