Man Who Stabbed Wife's Lover to Death Acquitted of Murder

A Nebraska man who stabbed his wife's lover to death on Valentine's Day has been acquitted of all charges, and may reconcile with his wife, who is currently dating another man.

Anthony Utterback, 24, of Bellevue was charged with second-degree murder following the fatal stabbing of Ryan O'Donnell, also 24, of Omaha.

According to the local authorities, Utterback, who was well aware of his wife's affair with O'Donnell, and has previously brawled with him over it, drove to O'Donnell's house on Feburary 14th to confront him, and the two brawled yet again.

Except, this time, Utterback pulled out a knife and stabbed O'Donnell in the heart, allegedly after O'Donnell struck Utterback in the leg with a crowbar.

Utterback's defense argued that he was acting in self-defense — a claim that ultimately led to Utterback's "not guilty" verdict.

The jury was initially prepared to convict Utterback of involuntary manslaughter, but ultimately backed down after concluding that the state didn't do enough to prove that Utterback struck the first blow.

They insisted there was "no way" Utterback could have known his knife would hit O'Donnell's heart "unless he was a doctor."

Despite the acquittal, the jury did seem to agree that Utterback's wife of 13 months was directly responsible for O'Donnell's death.

Ashley Killian, who shares an infant son with Utterback, admitted in court that she regularly cheated on Utterback "before and after their wedding day."

Utterback had begged Killian to stop seeing O'Donnell, but she refused.

In fact, she was at O'Donnell's house on the night of the deadly stabbing, but claims she isn't sure who started the fight.

Killian told the court she "stoked O'Donnell's anger" toward Utterback by claiming, falsely, that he was physically abusing her.

On Friday, Killian celebrated Utterback's release by posting "Praise the lord" on Facebook — right above photos of her new boyfriend, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

Killian's mother, responding to the possibility that her daughter and Utterback might get back together, told the World-Herald, "I hope so."

Ryan O'Donnell leaves behind parents, siblings, and a young daughter.

[photo via Facebook, screengrab via KETV]