Stabbing called case of self-defense

Lawyer argues woman arranged confrontation between two men

August 20, 2008|By Tyeesha Dixon | Tyeesha Dixon,Sun reporter

A Baltimore man accused of trying to kill his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend before leaping from a window to escape and breaking both legs, committed the stabbing in self-defense, his attorney argued yesterday.

Attorneys presented opening arguments yesterday in the case of Kazeem Akinyoade Akinniyi in Howard County Circuit Court. The 26-year-old is charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, assault and burglary in the stabbing of Jefferson Bolden.

Prosecutors plan to argue during the two-day jury trial that Akinniyi broke into the Columbia apartment of his ex-girlfriend, Sharon Johnson, about 5 a.m. Dec. 23, 2007. Akinniyi kicked down the bedroom door, prosecutors said, and began stabbing Bolden.

When Akinniyi attempted to stab Johnson but missed, Bolden tried to escape. But Akinniyi caught up to him and began stabbing him again, Assistant State's Attorney Michael Weal said during his opening statement.

Akinniyi then climbed out onto the ledge of the third-floor apartment's living room window before either falling or jumping and breaking both of his legs. Police later found him about 200 feet from the apartment complex dragging himself along, prosecutors said.

But defense attorney Janette Deboissiere argued that despite the conflicting accounts of the incident, Johnson planned for a confrontation between the two men. Deboissiere told jurors yesterday that Johnson called Akinniyi and invited him to her apartment when he got off work, which was typically after 2 a.m., knowing that Bolden would be there.

"It sounds like a very easy case, but things are not always what they seem," Deboissiere said. "It was a self-defense situation."

Earlier in yesterday's proceedings, Akinniyi rejected a plea deal from the state in which he would have served nine years in prison for attempted murder, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

As part of that deal, the state would have dropped charges in another case in which Akinniyi is charged with burglary and assault against Johnson. In that case, he is accused of breaking into Johnson's home, threatening to stab her with a kitchen knife, and punching her several times before dragging her across the floor by her hair and assaulting her with a broom.

tyeesha.dixon@baltsun.com

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