Robert Kronsberg found guilty for the murder of Tasha Lucia

Tasha Lucia (Source: Facebook)
Tasha Lucia (Source: Facebook)
Paul Polensky testifying on Wednesday.
Paul Polensky testifying on Wednesday.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A jury found Robert Kronsberg guilty for the murder of Tasha Lucia. The jury deliberated for about an hour and a half on Thursday before reaching the verdict.

Kronsberg was charged with killing Lucia at their apartment in February of last year. He was also found guilty of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

The judge has the option of sentencing Kronsberg from 30 years to life on the murder conviction. Kronsberg is expected to be sentenced next week.

"For this evil to have the rights of life while I am left to grieve for my daughter unlike an object that can be replaced when a precious gift of life to love for a life time is the cruelest evil of all," said Lucia's mother, Kimberly, following the announcement of the verdict.

Kronsberg's lawyers claimed that their client killed Lucia in the heat of passion during an argument over her ex-boyfriend.

On Thursday morning, jurors heard closing arguments in which prosecutor Chad Simpson told the jury that they had an "easy decision," and called the defense's case a "fiction."

Simpson asked jurors if Kronsberg did to Lucia was not murder, what was it?

At one point, Simpson pounded his fist on a table and said Kronsberg stabbed Lucia repeatedly.

Defense attorney Charles Cochran asked the jury not to let emotion get in the way of their deliberations, and said the prosecution's case was based on emotion and not fact.

Cochran said it was not about excusing someone for what they did, it was about charging that person with the correct crime. Cochran told jurors that his client was out of control when he killed Tasha, and it was not an act of malice.

"This was all done in a frenzy, an uncontrolled frenzy with alcohol," Cochran said."A frenzy without the benefit of collecting one's thought."

On Wednesday, Paul Polensky testified that Kronsberg had confessed to the killing the night of the incident.

According to Polensky, he received a text message from Kronsberg, who he worked with at a James Island pizza restaurant.

"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."

The jurors also heard an audio tape which authorities say contained Kronsberg confessing that he killed Lucia.

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

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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