LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A Las Cruces prisoner says he was off his anti-psychotic medication when he allegedly slashed a fellow inmate to death in 2006.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (http://bit.ly/1uYlTfU) that 38-year-old Dominic Montoya took the stand in his defense Monday morning.

Montoya is charged with first-degree murder, possession of a deadly weapon by a prisoner and tampering with evidence.

Investigators say Montoya was detained at the Dona Ana County Detention Center when he stabbed and slashed 29-year-old Adam Avalos and cut his right ear off. They say he also scrawled in blood his initials and those of an ex-girlfriend on a shower wall.

Montoya says he remembers Avalos cursing at him and then waking up covered in blood.

The trial opened after being rescheduled numerous times over the years.

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Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com