Union Bridge Man Claims Self-defense In Murder Trial

Defendant Says He Stabbed Opponent 'To Get Him Off Of Me'

July 31, 1991|By Maria Archangelo | Maria Archangelo,Staff writer

WESTMINSTER — A 32-year-old Union Bridge man charged with first-degree murder tolda county jury yesterday that he stabbed a Finksburg man during a fight because he wanted the confrontation to end.

Donald Allen McCallof Main Street is also charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, and assault and battery in the Feb. 8 stabbing death of Roger LeeChilders, 24, of the 2500 block of Lawndale Road.

His trial in Carroll County Circuit Court began Monday.

On thewitness stand yesterday, McCall told the jury that he stabbed Childers once in the chest in self-defense.

"I never meant to kill him,"McCall said. "I just wanted to get him off of me."

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Kathi Hill maintained that the stabbing was the culmination of an argument that began in E. J.'s bar on Main Street inUnion Bridge earlier that night during a pool game.

Hill said McCall was embarrassed by Childers during the argument in the bar and was out for revenge when the fight resumed later that night.

McCall's attorneys, J. Barry Hughes and William W. Weisgerber of Westminster, said that Childers was the aggressor in the fight and that McCall stabbed him out of fear for his life.

Earlier in the evening, the two men had disagreed over a rule during a pool game at the bar. The verbal argument turned physical when Childers hit McCall with a pool stick, narrowly missing his eye, court testimony showed.

McCall testified that he had been angry that someone had pulled his hair duringthe fight but that he believed the argument was over when they were asked to leave the bar.

The altercation started again about 1:30 a.m. when Childers' girlfriend called McCall's apartment to talk to McCall's wife, he said.

McCall answered the phone. As he was talkingto Childers' girlfriend, he could hear Childers in the background shouting obscenities and threatening to kill him, McCall said.

Minutes later, Childers and three others showed up outside McCall's apartment and started throwing things at the windows and shouting obscenities.

McCall said his wife went down to the street and he followed her to protect her. He said he did not take the knife with him intentionally, but that it was in the pocket of the jeans he was wearing.

McCall testified that he pulled the knife from his pocket because Childers "was acting like a wild man" and rushed at him when he reachedthe street.

McCall said that after he stabbed Childers, he put the knife away.

"But he said to me, 'So, you've got a knife,' and came at me again," McCall testified.

McCall said the fighting continued, so he took the knife out again, but did not open it.

A few minutes later, Childers sat down on the curb, McCall testified. He saidit was then that he noticed Childers was bleeding, so he ran up to his apartment and dialed 911. A few minutes later, he hid the knife under some steps, he said.

Childers was pronounced dead at 3:30 a.m.at the Maryland Shock Trauma Unit at University Hospital in Baltimore.

Hill disputed McCall's statement that the stabbing was in self-defense by claiming that the Union Bridge man was embarrassed when Childers "showed him up" in the bar.

"You were king of pool but not king of the fights, isn't that right?" Hill asked during cross-examination.

The prosecutor said McCall was determined to "guarantee a victory" in the second fight by bringing a knife.

McCall was the second witness called by the defense yesterday afternoon. Weisgerber and Hughes are expected to rest their case this morning.

The jury isexpected to begin deliberations in the case this afternoon, after hearing closing arguments.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.