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Three of the four remaining defendants accused in the murder of Utah tourist Brian Watkins in a subway station went on trial Monday.

One of them is accused of stabbing Watkins in the heart after a buddy proclaimed, "It's killing time!"Yull Gary Morales, 19, also known as "Rock Star," admits he stabbed Watkins but says it was an accident in a robbery that went wrong.

"My client never intended to kill anybody," said Morales' lawyer, Joel Lutwin. "He saw his friends in trouble, so he drew his knife and ran over to scare people away, and Watkins either fell or was pushed (onto the knife)."

A source insisting on anonymity said Watkins' wound casts doubt on Morales' account. "If you see the type of wound Watkins had, its size and configuration, you would know it couldn't have happened the way Morales tells it," the source said.

Morales was being tried with two others, Ricardo Lopez and Anthony Anderson. Anderson allegedly declared, "It's killing time." The three defendants are 19 and from Queens.

Watkins, 22, of Provo, was slain Sept. 2, 1990, while trying to protect his mother, Karen, who was punched and kicked after a gang of young men jumped his family in a subway station in the theater district. His father, Sherwin, was knocked down, slashed across the buttocks and robbed of $200.

Several defendants told police they robbed the family because they needed money for the $15 cover charge at Rose-land, a nearby dance hall.

Eight young men were indicted on murder charges in the fatal attack. On Dec. 10, four were convicted of murder by a jury that knew none of them killed Watkins. The defendants were sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

The case of the eighth defendant, 23-year-old Luis Montero, was severed from the second group earlier this month. He will be tried separately.