‘In this fit of rage, I just stabbed him’: Man charged with murder testifies

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Robert White murder trial

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Robert White took the witness stand Wednesday to testify in his own defense in the stabbing death of Terry Hall Jr.

Hall was stabbed 10 times at a Rooks Lane residence, where White sometimes stayed with Nicole Checkawitz, the renter.

Defense attorneys say he acted in self defense fueled by past confrontations with Hall.

MORE: Neighbors describe day of heavy drinking before fatal stabbing

After hours of drinking at a neighbor’s residence and at a Franklin bar, White said he went through the unlocked back door of Checkawitz’s residence on Aug. 27, 2017.

“I dozed off,” he said, and the next thing he remembered was hearing a commotion.

“I saw it was Terry (Hall). I saw he was angry. He was huffing and puffing,” White, 40, said.

He ran into the hall and then into the kitchen to get space between he and Hall, White said. Then Checkawitz came in behind Hall and was screaming.

“The closer they got, the farther I backed away,” White said, noting Hall began crouching down like he was going to attack.

White said he reached in the kitchen drawer behind him for a knife to defend himself.

That is when White said Hall picked up a chair.

MORE: Man on trial for murder says stabbing was self defense 

“I told him to get the (expletive) out of the house,” White said. “He kept coming at me with the chair like a lion tamer.”

White said he closed his eyes and swung the knife.

“I expected to get hit by the chair,” White said. “When I opened my eyes. He (Hall) was just standing there. It was surreal.”

White said he continued to stab Hall when he thought the wounded man was going to get up.

“And I had anger, everything he had done to me. It consumed me. In this fit of rage, I just stabbed him,” he said.

Hall was stabbed 10 times, including fatal wounds to the neck and three stab wounds in the buttocks, according to Dr. Lee Lehman, Chief Deputy Coroner of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

Lehman said the neck wounds would have caused Hall to bleed to death “very rapidly.”

“I would say minutes,” he testified.

In addition, Hall had five stab wounds to his side and lower abdomen. His hand had deep cuts that Lehman said were consistent with grabbing at a knife.

“They wound be defensive wounds,” Lehman said of Hall’s severely cut fingers.

Hall was also stabbed three times in the lower thigh and buttocks, according to Lehman.

The stab wounds to the buttocks were in an upward motion and would have to have been inflicted when Hall’s legs were open, according to Lehman.

In a phone call placed from jail two days after the stabbing, White told a woman, “I remember stabbing him in the neck.”

During cross examination, prosecutors pointed out that in past confrontations between Hall and White there had never been a weapon used.

Warren County Assistant Prosecutor Derek Faulkner showed the jury a photo of the living room where White said he was sleeping before the alleged commotion that woke him. Faulkner pointed out a front door that would have been an exit for White.

“But you went down the hall toward the kitchen,” Faulkner said to White.

“Yes,” he answered.

White has been held in the Warren County Jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond since the stabbing.

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