Man stabbed victim 17 times

A MAN has been found guilty of murdering a Devonport resident by stabbing him 17 times during a fight on Christmas Day, 2012.

Adrian Wayne Smillie, 34, was found guilty of murdering Benjamin Murray Maxwell, after the jury deliberated for more than four hours at the Burnie Supreme Court yesterday.

The jury also found Smillie guilty of wounding Ashley Stott four times in the back.

Smillie had pleaded not guilty.

He killed Mr Maxwell, then 30, by stabbing him 13 times in the back and four times to the front with a knife outside the victim's Croft Avenue, Devonport, home about 10pm.

Smillie was going to swap Christmas gifts with his partner shortly before the incident.

Mr Maxwell, an acquaintance, and Mr Stott, then 21, left the unit and asked Smillie to drive them to buy alcohol.

Smillie said he could not and a fight started.

When Mr Stott tried to separate the other two men, Smillie stabbed him four times in the back.

Smillie stabbed Mr Maxwell, and drove to a Chichester Drive, Devonport, residence where police found him.

Mr Maxwell died later.

In his closing address on Tuesday, Crown prosecutor Tony Jacobs said Smillie used force suitable for a battlefield.

"This is a massive battlefield- type application of blows," he said.

Mr Jacobs told the jury Smillie had a "fascination" with carrying knives and before the stabbing held "trivial grievances" against Mr Maxwell.

These included a suspicion that his partner had sex with Mr Maxwell.

Defence counsel Adrian Hall argued that Smillie was defending himself in the stabbing.

The case was adjourned until April 24 for sentencing submissions.

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