XENIA — A Fairborn man faced a trial jury Monday after being charged with murder.
Joseph Jenkins, 45, of Fairborn, allegedly stabbed Andre Winston, 38, of Beavercreek, after a fight broke out between the two during the night-hours of July 22 near the intersection of Wallace Drive and Williams Street in Fairborn. Winston died either just before or right after arriving at Miami Valley Hospital, according to officials.
The state, represented by Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Burke, explained Monday in court that a fight broke out between two individuals July 22, which provoked witness Courtney Howard to attempt to break up the fight. The state argued that Jenkins didn’t appreciate her getting involved, which led him to threaten her. This led to Winston defending Howard, which escalated the situation. Winston and Jenkins were said to have traded punches.
More witnesses said it was at this point that Jenkins picked himself up from the ground, left the area for a few minutes, then returned to the scene as if he were ready to make up.
“When he came back, he said something to the effect of they were good, no problems, and as he came up to ‘Dre (Winston) he put his had out as if he was going to shake his hand,” Burke said during opening statements. “[This gave] the impression that they were good, done, moving on — that’s not what happened. You’re going to hear testimony that as he reached out to shake, he took his other hand and stabbed him in the gut.”
The defense, represented by Attorney Christopher Beck, argued that Jenkins’ actions were done out of self defense and that he cooperated with police officers when they arrived at the scene. Beck classified the evening as a typical summer night that turned bad.
Beck read in a first-person point-of-view from a legal pad about what transpired that night from Jenkins’ perspective during opening statements. He explained that when he arrived on the scene of the argument, Jenkins asked Howard to cease recording the incident on her cell phone, as he felt that it was egging on the situation.
The defense argued that Jenkins told the two individuals to stop fighting, which is when Winston approached Jenkins and hit him. According to the defense, Jenkins fell, but got back up and then went to a friend’s house to ask for a ride home. Later when he went back outside, Beck said Jenkins saw Winston charge toward him with his fists balled up. He said he responded to this by telling Winston that he didn’t want to fight.
“He’s on me before I know it,” Beck said from Jenkins’ perspective during opening statements. “I told him to back up — and I carry a little pocket knife, like a kitchen knife I use all the time from working on radios … and things — I pull it out and tell him ‘stop’ but he’s on me before I know it. Next thing I know, I stick him with the knife and it breaks.”
Witnesses were called by the state the rest of the day. The trial will resume 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 1 beginning with defense witnesses.