Opening arguments today in Houston murder trial

PERRY — Opening arguments are expected this morning in the trial of a Warner Robins man accused of murder in the 2007 stabbing death of another man outside Buffalo’s Cafe, 3051 Watson Blvd. in Warner Robins.

The jury was seated late Monday afternoon. Mario Cavalli Harris, 32, was indicted by a Houston County grand jury on charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.

Felony murder is when someone dies in the commission of another felony, which in this case is the alleged aggravated assault. Malice murder includes the intent of murder as opposed to an act of passion, emotion or self defense.

Harris is accused of stabbing Stephen Thad Register, 32, of Warner Robins, once just below the chest about 10:44 p.m. Dec. 27, 2007, outside of Buffalo’s, police said.

Franklin J. Hogue, a Macon criminal defense attorney representing Harris, said the stabbing was in self defense.Houston County Judge Katherine K. Lumsden is expected to preside over the trial. Houston County Chief District Attorney Jason Ashford and assistant district attorney Duncan Munn are prosecuting the case.