Witness says suspect in James Island fatal stabbing confessed to killing

RAW VIDEO: Witness says James Island murder suspect confessed to killing
Kronsberg in court on Wednesday
Kronsberg in court on Wednesday
Polensky testifying on Wednesday.
Polensky testifying on Wednesday.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A friend of Richard Kronsberg testified in court on Tuesday that Kronsberg confessed to fatally stabbing 25-year-old Tasha Lucia.

Paul Polensky, who also worked with Kronsberg at a James Island pizza restaurant, told jurors that he thought it was a joke when Kronsberg told him that he had killed Lucia.

Kronsberg is accused of fatally stabbing Lucia, his then girlfriend, 15 times in February of 2013.

Polensky told jurors that on the night of the incident, he and Kronsberg were working together at the restaurant. According to Polensky, Kronsberg left, then two hours later Polensky received a text message from him.

"I had gotten a text that said 911 four times over in a row," Polensky said in court on Wednesday."So I called him and then he told me not to talk on the cell phone, that to just call him from the work phone."

Polensky said when he called Kronsberg back, Kronsberg said,"Don't freak out, but I just killed my girlfriend."

"My first thought was that he was messing with me that it was some kind of joke," Polensky said.

According to Polensky, Kronsberg told him not to call the police, and that he was going to turn himself in to investigators.

Polensky said that when he told Kronsberg to turn himself in, Kronsberg said he wanted to wait 24 hours before surrendering; Polensky said Kronsberg would call him back at a later point and said he might kill himself instead of turning himself over to police.

Polensky testified that he did not call police right away, because he feared he would go to jail. He told jurors that he now regrets that decision.

Polensky also testified that before Kronsberg had confessed the murder to him, Kronsberg and Lucia were arguing through text messages and Facebook over Lucia's ex-boyfriend.

Testimony wrapped up for the day with jurors hearing an audio tape which authorities say has Kronsberg confessing that he killed Lucia which investigators say was made at a hospital where he was being treated.

On the tape, Kronsberg is heard saying that he grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed Lucia and tried to kill himself.

Kronsberg told the detective that he bought a bottle of sleeping pills and ate all of them; he is also heard saying in the confession audio tape that he had slashed his left wrist, took aspirin, sleeping pills and alcohol.

Before the trial, Kronsberg's attorneys tried to get the confession taken out of the trial, claiming it was under the influence of medication. The judge denied the request.

Earlier in the day, jurors also heard testimony with forensic details from Charleston Police forensic investigators and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, who collected and examined evidence at the scene of Lucia's death.

Also on Wednesday, a juror was dismissed after the presiding judge, Judge Roger Young, said one of the jurors apparently knows Kronsberg's father. The juror was dismissed and alternate juror was selected.

Chief Public Defender Ashley Pennington was not in court because of surgery, but Kronsberg said he wanted the trial to continue without him.

In opening arguments Tuesday morning, Prosecutor Jessica Baldwin claimed an argument about Lucia's ex-boyfriend led to the murder.

Kronsberg's defense attorney, Public Defender Charlie Cochran countered that the case is really about what was going on in his heart that

night. Co

-workers and friends of Lucia testified they went to the apartment the couple shared when they couldn't reach Lucia by phone.

They testified that they gained entry into the apartment by going through a window and discovered Kronsberg snoring loudly in one bedroom and Lucia's body covered with a blanket that concealed a knife sticking out of her chest in another bedroom.Kronsberg's attorneys are not disputing that their client killed Lucia, but claim it was a crime of passion that happened during an argument over Lucia's ex-boyfriend.

Follow @policereporter Harve Jacobs on Twitter for the latest developments from the courtroom as they happen.

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