Jury Deliberates in Trial of Paddleboard Assault on Surfer

The fight allegedly started over a wave and 'surf etiquette.'

Closing arguments wrapped up Tuesday and a San Diego jury is now deliberating whether a man assaulted a surfer in the ocean with a paddle. 

The incident happened June 2018 at Sunset Cliffs. Prosecutors say that paddleboarder Paul Taylor Konen hit surfer Kevin Eslinger in the head with a paddle so hard that it damaged his brain, leading to speech problems that persist to this day. 

Konen faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison. 

The prosecution told the jury Tuesday that the wound is 'highly unusual' and compresses the bone.

Deputy District Attorney Matthew Greco said the gash left on the back of the victim's head was so severe that he could not speak for days after the incident.

The fight allegedly started over a wave and 'surf etiquette.' 

Defense attorney Brian McCarthy said Konen was acting in self defense, and trying to get away from Eslinger. 

The prosecution asserted that Konen told a friend he thought Eslinger was "going to kill me" and swung at him to defend himself. 

As the jury deliberated Tuesday, Konen's father, Kenneth Konen, told NBC 7 his son has been threatened in Point Loma during the trial, was run off the road in his car, and fears for his safety. 

But the prosecution said this was not an incident of self-defense, and the jury should hold Konen accountable. 

Judge Robert Trentacosta instructed the jury of seven men and five women to contact him when a verdict was reached.

This is a developing story, check back for updates. 

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