Opening arguments were heard this morning in the trial of Joshua Stepp, a former Army infantryman who is accused of killing his ten month-old stepdaughter. Prosecutors also allege that a sexual assault took place.
Stepp admits to causing the girl’s death, but asserts that he is not guilty of first-degree murder because he did not form the specific intent to kill and because no sexual assault occurred. [You can read North Carolina’s definition of first-degree murder here.] Stepp intends to testify and present evidence of how substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder caused him to lose control.