sounds like the bolded may have turned the case for the jury.
Article from Wednesday (day before verdict)
Witness: Deadly slashing during roommate fight could have been accident
From Keaira Johnson’s perspective, Alexis Simpson instigated the confrontation
that left her roommate at Bowie State University fatally wounded. But
Johnson, who saw the deadly fight, acknowledged in court Wednesday that
Simpson might not have intended to slash her roommate’s neck.
Defense attorneys say that Simpson was bullied by Frazier and her friends and retrieved and wielded the knife in self-defense.
Johnson, 21, a friend of Frazier’s, testified Wednesday that Simpson
and Frazier began to argue after Simpson turned off an iPod playing in
the suite and that Simpson soon began yelling outside the door to
Johnson testified that after Frazier retrieved a
knife — not the weapon used in the slaying — she quickly moved to take
it from her and stash it in a dresser drawer.
“I said, ‘You’re not going to do that,’ ” Johnson testified. “You’re not going to stab her.”
after, Johnson testified, Simpson came into the room and began to fight
Frazier, and the brawl spilled to the living room. Johnson said that
after that fight paused, Simpson punched her and the two of them traded
After the melee had appeared to end, Johnson testified,
Simpson again went to Frazier’s room. She said that the women “started
swinging at each other” and that Frazier “grabbed her neck and just
stopped moving,” apparently having been slashed.
That account is
in line with other witnesses’ and prosecutors’ theory of the case. But
defense attorneys forced a key concession from Johnson when she
acknowledged on cross-examination that Simpson might not have intended
to slash Frazier.
“It looked like a mistake, right?” Christopher Griffiths, Simpson’s defense attorney, asked Johnson.
“I guess. Yeah,” Johnson said.
attorneys on Wednesday began calling their own witnesses, first
questioning two Bowie State juniors who said they witnessed incidents
involving Simpson, Frazier and Frazier’s friends.
and Unique Arnold testified that they saw some women glaring at Simpson
in a cafeteria area at the university after an argument. Previous
testimony indicated that those women were Frazier and her friends.
Arnold said that about a week before the stabbing, Simpson told her that
she intended to change dorm rooms.
Another defense witness,
Janaye Ruffin, who lived across the hall from Frazier and Simpson,
testified that after the slashing, Simpson seemed “scared” and
“She was breathing heavy,” Ruffin said. “She couldn’t even put words together to form sentences.”
concluded their portion of the case by calling a medical examiner, who
testified that Frazier died of “multiple sharp force injuries,”
including a cut to the jugular that could have proven fatal in seconds.