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Closing statements in stabbing trial

Harvey Field
Published:2018-01-25 Local
Closing statements in stabbing trial    Print Snohomish Times    
Closing statements in stabbing trial

By SHANAI BEMIS | Daily Record

A Kittitas County jury is deliberating the case of a Snohomish man accused of stabbing another man during an altercation in Ellensburg in 2016.

Attorneys presented closing statements on Wednesday in the trial of Scott Newsom, 21, of Snohomish. Newsom is accused of assaulting Cory Rowe during a confrontation that occurred on April 2, 2016, at a residence on North Water Street where a number of people had gathered for a party. According to testimony given during trial proceedings, those attending the party were consuming alcohol, including both the victim and defendant.

Newson is charged with first-degree assault, first-degree burglary and third-degree malicious mischief.

The trial started Jan. 17 in Kittitas County Superior Court. Witnesses wrapped up testimony Wednesday.

Newsom and Rowe got into an altercation after a chair was broken and Rowe asked Newsom to leave the house. Newsom was escorted out the front door, but attempted to enter the residence again after a few minutes. The front door was reportedly broken during the process, according to a probable cause statement.

Newsom and Rowe fought on the lawn outside the home, which ended when Rowe was cut across his bicep. According to a probable cause statement, Kittitas County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call and found Rowe holding a towel around his bleeding arm. Rowe was transported to Harborview Medical Center for treatment later that night.

In the time since the incident, Rowe has undergone three surgeries to repair the damage he sustained to his arm and may live with permanent nerve damage the rest of his life, Deputy Prosecutor Jodi Hammond said.

In her closing statements, Hammond told the jury to consider which version of the events was more corroborated, adding that Newsom’s testimony that Rowe had attacked him and he was unable to defend himself without the knife was not credible.

“What Cory says happened that night is almost 100 percent corroborated by other people,” Hammond said. “Mr. Newsom’s testimony is not credible. It’s well crafted, but it’s not corroborated by anyone else.”

Defense attorney Zachary Wagnild said Newsom only pulled out the knife to defend himself, and Hammond was glossing over the credibility of her own witnesses.

“Cory Rowe’s story is changing as he realizes it’s not what he wants you to believe, because it doesn’t make him look like a victim,” he said, citing examples where Rowe’s testimony differed from the statements he had made to police and the testimony of several of Hammond’s other witnesses. “He testified to you that the reason he went outside was because Scotty Newsom was coming at him, but his own friends that testified told you about how he ran down the hall after Scotty Newsom, and was described as being in a state of pure rage.”

Rowe was within his rights to defend his property, Hammond said, and the defense’s argument that Newsom was acting in self-defense did not justify his actions.

“Cory Rowe was 100 percent within his legal rights to use force against the guy who was trying to come back into his house and who broke his chair,” Hammond said. “What tool should Scott Newsom used besides a knife? How about his words?”

Original article from the Daily Record


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