DAEGU — Two American teens accused of stabbing a taxi driver on March 20 testified Friday they were acting in self-defense but didn’t stab the South Korean man.

Marcus Banks, 18, and his 16-year-old co-defendant were in Daegu court on charges of robbery resulting in bodily injury. They are still considered juveniles under the South Korean legal system.

Banks has been held in South Korean pre-trial custody since both teens were indicted May 28.

Both are sons of active-duty military personnel in the Daegu area, military officials have said.

Most of the questions in court Friday were directed toward Banks and each teen was represented by a different defense attorney.

Both defendants said they had been drinking in Waegwon bars that night and were headed by taxi to the train station so the younger teen could catch a train home.

The driver, Park Sang-hui, took a wrong turn, and when the teens assumed he was trying to cheat them on the fare they told him to stop and got out. When they realized they didn’t have money for the fare, they ran.

Park said he parked the taxi and went looking for the teens on scooter.

The teens said they didn’t realize it was Park who had gotten off a scooter, grabbed Banks by his collar, struck him and said, “Money! Money!” They said they thought they were being robbed.

The younger defendant tried to push Park away from his friend but another South Korean man joined the fray.

Banks said he pulled the knife to defend himself but stressed he never stabbed the man.

Park blasted the story, saying he couldn’t have beaten the teens because of his impaired left hand. He displayed a severely scarred and disfigured hand to the court and claimed he couldn’t even make a fist.

He also lifted his shirt to show what he said were scars from the stabbing. The prosecuting attorney told the court Park was hospitalized for two weeks for treatment of a stab wound to the stomach that left an eight-inch gash.

Prosecutors asked that Banks be sentenced to prison for five to six years and that the younger teen spend two to three years in prison.

Park told the court that his medical bills have exceeded $5,400.

Defense attorneys told the judge Park is seeking an exorbitant amount of money and that each family already has paid the drive about $550. They said the younger defendant’s family has set aside an additional $2,500.

The judge ordered both defendants back to court on July 1 for his final decision.

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