(WKBN)- Opening statements began Tuesday morning for a man accused in one of Lawrence County’s most grisly murders.

In July 2019, 8-year-old Mark “Markie” Mason Jr. was stabbed to death in Union Township after police say he was abducted from his mother. The murder happened in front of Mark’s younger brother.

The suspect is Keith Burley. He was arrested in Youngstown and charged with first-degree murder. He’s representing himself in his trial.

The child’s mother Maram Ford was on the witness stand Tuesday. She said her tumultuous relationship with Burley began in March of 2019 and ended three months later when her son was murdered.

District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa talked about an argument between Markie’s mother and Burley on the night of the crime.

After his mother took the stand, 11-year-old Matthew Mason shared what he remembered about that night. Matthew said he remembered Burley driving him and ‘Markie’ to a house where they had never been.

Matthew said there were two other young boys in the home, who they didn’t know. He remembers being scared and watching Burley go into a room and grab a knife and gun.

Matthew said Burley grabbed his and Markie’s necks, and he watched as Burley jumped on Markie repeatedly stabbing him.

After that, Matthew said he hit Burley with a chair and ran out of the house. He said he ran until he found people at a drive-through for help.

If convicted, Burley will likely go to jail for the rest of his life.