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Jurors heard testimony Wednesday from the man who threw the first punch at a birthday dinner that ended with a stabbing last April just outside of Elizabethtown. The stabbing victim also testified.
Raymond K. Wilson, 52, is charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence in connection with the stabbing.
Wilson’s jury trial began Monday and continued Wednesday afternoon during which a panel of seven men and seven women heard testimony from three witnesses.
Michael York of Russell Springs attended the April 8, 2012 party. Though York admitted he threw the first punch, he said Wilson started the fight when he arrived uninvited with a knife in his back pocket.
“That blade had no other intention than to hurt, kill or maim somebody,” York said during a tense line of questioning with defense attorney Susie Hurst of the Department of Public Advocacy.
York was not the only witness to say Wilson was not invited to the gathering. Tina Ogle, who hosted the dinner party for her son, said she told Wilson not to attend.
Ogle testified the two had a romantic history. She said on the day of the party Wilson said he had a birthday gift for her son. Ogle instructed Wilson not to visit her residence after noon because dinner guests would be there, she said.
During cross-examination, defense counsel suggested another party goer gave Wilson permission to attend the event.
York, who referred to Ogle as a “long-time friend,” said he feared for Ogle’s family when he saw Wilson and Wilson’s brother arrive. He said Wilson “traumatized” Ogle and her son.
According to York and Ogle, a prior domestic dispute involving Ogle and Wilson caused the woman to fear him.
Because of that history, York said he “clocked” Wilson in the mouth after shaking his hand and asking if Wilson remembered him.
When defense counsel asked if he kept Wilson’s glasses after the fight as a token, York said he did.
Hurst also pointed to inconsistencies between York’s statement to police and testimony Wednesday, such as whether York’s wife was at the party and what he told investigators about when he saw the knife in Wilson’s pocket.
When asked if Wilson said something or behaved in a threatening manner to provoke the punch, York said, “He acted more cocky that day than I’ve ever seen him in my life.”
A scuffle ensued between York and Wilson’s brother, he said, before Wilson stood up and pulled out a knife.
York and the man who was stabbed, Gerald Wayne Tharpe, said Wilson stated, “I’m going to kill you” before pursuing York with the weapon.
In statements to police, Wilson denied making the threat.
Tharpe said after hearing Wilson’s threat, he attempted to intervene but was stabbed.
The trial continues at 9 a.m. today in Hardin Circuit Court.
Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenews enterprise.com.