WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The first murder in Wilmington in 2014 happened Friday night after a man was stabbed multiple times. The man accused of the stabbing says he'll plead not guilty in court.
According to Wilmington Police, Martin Yakimovich died at New Hanover Regional Medical Center after being stabbed. The incident reportedly happened at 11:00 p.m. Friday at 318 McRae Street.
Officers found Yakimovich lying on the floor of the home at that address with multiple stab wounds.
Witnesses told police the stabbing followed a domestic dispute between Yakimovich and Shelby Lentz. Officials said Lentz ran from the scene and later turned himself in.
Lentz has been charged with second degree murder and is in the New Hanover County Jail without bond.
In a jailhouse interview, Lentz said he will plead 'not guilty" to his second degree murder charge.
Lentz said he knew Martin Yakima and a third party individual, a woman by the name of Molly Space, before the incident.
"He was seeing her and I was seeing her, so it was kind of a love triangle thing that got twisted out of hand," Lentz explained.
Lentz said he was high on klonopin that Yakimovich had given him during Friday night's incident.
He explained that a fight happened that night because of the affair going on between himself and Space. He claimed that Space was being attacked by Yakomovich before he got involved in the altercation.
"He swung on me, that's when I pulled out the knife. I stuck him. I thought I only stabbed him once to get him off her," Lentz explained.
He said he only wanted to help Space, and that's why he thinks he is innocent of murder.
"I wish it hadn't of ended up that way," said Lentz. "I feel bad for him and his family and I'm sorry it ended that way, but in the end, I had to do what I had to do to protect myself and her."
Lents said he will plead 'not guilty' in court and let the jury hear his side of the story.
"This will go to trial. There will be no plea deal in this. A jury of my peers will decide whether they think I murdered this man or acted in defense of myself and Molly."