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Stabbing charge advances to jury

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A malicious wounding charge against a young Stafford County man was certified to a grand jury Tuesday following a hearing that gave little indication as to why the stabbing occurred.

Ronzell Parker–Kimble, 19, is accused of stabbing 20-year-old Jeffrey M. Fleeton early Aug. 17 outside a home on Longwood Drive in North Stafford. Police had just broken up a large party there when Fleeton was stabbed.

Fleeton was the only witness put on by prosecutor Ryan Frank at the preliminary hearing. He testified that he and some friends had been drinking vodka when they showed up at the party shortly before midnight.

Fleeton testified that he argued with three people during the two hours he was there, including Parker–Kimble, whom he has known for several years and had never had any problems with before that night.

Repeatedly questioned by defense attorney Jonathan David, Fleeton said he was “very angry” but didn’t remember what he and Parker–Kimble were at odds about that night. But he said he did remember squaring up to fight Parker–Kimble and pushing him before getting what he thought was a punch to the stomach.

Fleeton, who at 5 feet 4 inches tall is 10 inches shorter than Parker–Kimble, said he walked away at that point and noticed he was bleeding profusely. He was rushed to a local hospital and received 28 staples for a 4- to 5-inch gash on his stomach and a severe cut to his arm that required surgery.

He never saw a knife, but said Parker–Kimble was the only person within arm’s length of him at the time he was struck.

David called the case against his client “weak” and suggested that Fleeton was too intoxicated to know what had happened to him. He also suggested that it was Fleeton, not Parker–Kimble, who was causing problems at the party.

Judge Bruce Strickland sent the case to a grand jury, though he pointed out that the standard for probable cause is much lower than what would be required for a conviction.

Police at the time estimated there were more than 200 people at the party, and neighbors complained about the noise. The host of the party is a relative of the homeowner, who told police at the time that neither the host nor anyone else was supposed to be at the residence.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

 

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