Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The bizarre case of Duane Hurley and Daniel Kovarbasich

Danny Describes the Killing

Danny testified that he did not remember hitting Hurley with the pickle jar three times like the medical examiner, Dr. Matus, had stated. At first he said that he thought he had thrown the pickle jar at Hurley's head.

Danny Kovarbasich
Danny Kovarbasich

"I remember being mad, picked it up and slammed it in the back of his head," Danny said.

After Hurley had said, "What was that?" Danny took a knife that he carried in his back pocket, a gift from Hurley, and had stabbed him with it. Danny said that the knife broke during the attack, and that he had gone to the kitchen to get another knife. By that time Hurley struggled down the hallway to the landing near the front door.

"He ended up falling, somehow on his stomach," Danny said. "Then I stabbed him with the kitchen knife. I thought I only stabbed him 17 times—I guess I stabbed him 53. It happened fast."

Danny said he retrieved the pocket knife that Hurley had given him from the hallway, and dumped it in a nearby sewer when he left Hurley's house and called his dad.

When Bradley asked him why he had not told the police about his relationship with Hurley, he explained that he was "scared" and that it was "embarrassing."

It was noted at that juncture in the trial that the police had not been aware prior to Danny's testimony, or Bradley's opening statement, that two knives had been used in the attack on Hurley. As a result, investigators searched the sewer in question during a break in the trial and found the pocket knife. The prosecution then presented it as evidence.

During cross-examination, Kinlin asked Danny about the pocket knife. Danny identified it and said that it was the knife he used to stab Hurley in the chest and face. He said that he had not brought the knife to Hurley's house that morning with the intention of killing Hurley with it.

At one point Kinlin asked Danny to clarify what he meant by "the look" he said Hurley gave him that morning.

"I can't describe (it)," he said. "It's the look he had when he wanted to do sexual things."

Danny admitted to Kinlin that he had followed Hurley into the bedroom of his own accord, and that Hurley was not aware that he was going to be attacked with the pickle jar. Danny also admitted to the prosecutor that he had kicked Hurley in the face and the back of his head when he was on the floor, and agreed that he could have fled the house through either the front door or kitchen door. He said that it was not in his mind to leave.

"Do you feel bad for what happened?" Kinlin asked at one point.

"A little bit," Danny responded. "I killed a man."

"In hindsight you should have run out the back door or the front door," Kinlin said.

"Looking back, I should never have gone to his house," Danny said.

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