The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

September 12, 2012

Defendant to stand trial in double-stabbing case

JOPLIN, Mo. — Dana Townsend testified Wednesday that Kennes Scaife pulled out a butcher knife when she and her roommate tried to stop him from breaking into their neighbor’s apartment a few weeks ago in Joplin.

Townsend, 31, was called as the prosecution’s lone witness at Scaife’s preliminary hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court on charges he stabbed both Townsend and Michael Johnson, 46, in a confrontation July 27 in the 1600 block of South Pearl Avenue.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Associate Circuit Judge Richard Copeland ordered Scaife, 40, bound over for trial on two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action. His initial appearance in a trial division of the court was set for Sept. 24.

“He pulled it out from behind (him) and said: ‘Here we go,’” Townsend told the court on direct examination by Kurt Benecke, assistant prosecutor.

She said she’d just caught Scaife in the act of trying to pry open the door of a neighbor’s apartment, downstairs from the apartment she shared with Johnson.

Townsend acknowledged that Scaife had been over to the address earlier in the day looking for a man who shared that apartment with a woman, but that he was not at home.

She said Scaife returned later and was trying to get into their neighbors’ place.

She testified that when she first confronted him, Scaife hit her and they began scuffling. Johnson came to her assistance as Scaife pulled out the knife. She said that just then, the woman who lives in the apartment heard the commotion and opened the door, and they all tumbled inside her place, where Scaife began stabbing them.

Townsend testified that she was stabbed in her thigh, and that Johnson was stabbed in his back and his shoulder. She said the other woman also was cut but not as severely. Scaife stopped and fled when Johnson took up a defensive stance with a toy knife that he grabbed from the neighbor’s belongings.   

Townsend told the court that she remains without feeling between her hip and her knee in the leg that was stabbed.


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