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Casper Man Faces Life Sentence for Attempted First-Degree Murder

The trial of a Casper man accused in a home invasion and knife attack in March 2013 begins today.

27-year old Zacharia Johnson is accused of trying to kill Robert Masterson with a knife.

Over the next couple days, Johnson will stand before a 13-person jury as they determine whether he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

The day began with jury selection, followed by opening statements.

Attorneys say Johnson stabbed Masterson a total of 9 times, with four of the nine being in the chest, leaving Masterson with a partially-collapsed lung.

62-year-old Masterson rolled an oxygen tank behind him as he walked into the courtroom today to testify against Johnson.

Photos of Masterson's stab wounds were projected, forcing some jurors to look away in horror.

Johnson and his alleged co-conspirator Robert Simmons, who's already serving time for the crime, were both complete strangers to Masterson prior to the stabbing.

Masterson says his neighbor knew the two suspects and helped them get into Masterson's apartment.

The day came to an end with several officers also testifying today, confirming evidence and answering questions regarding the crime last year. Court is scheduled to reconvene tomorrow morning.

Alleged accomplice Robert Simmons has already pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and aggravated burglary, and is currently serving a 20 to 25 year prison sentence. Trial will reconvene tomorrow morning with witness testimony.
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Email Tony Cedrone: tcedrone@kcwy13.com


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