Tales of fatal stabbing don't match
The way he told the story Monday from the witness stand, Robert Steven Hawkins had his face just 3 inches away from Jason Everette Clark's as the two struggled on a sofa in Clark's living room for control of a knife, just before Hawkins gained control and stabbed Clark in the neck.
But that's a different story than jurors heard him tell Friday in a recording of his interview by detectives a few hours after the stabbing, when Hawkins said he stabbed Clark while they were in front of the kitchen sink.
The contradicting details are an example of the inconsistencies that prosecutors tried to emphasize Monday when Hawkins testified at his murder trial in Caldwell Superior Court. Hawkins recalled particular, specific details of the days leading up to and including the stabbing, but when questioned by prosecutors about many things he said in his interview with detectives, he said he could not remember.
Hawkins, 45, is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Clark, 38, about 5 a.m. Oct. 19, 2010, after a long night of heavy drinking at Clark's house at 2324 Alfred Hartley Road outside Lenoir. Hawkins says he was in fear for his life because Clark aimed a loaded, double-barrel shotgun at him several times.
Hawkins testified that he was the person who called 911 shortly after 5 a.m.
In the recording of that call, which was played for the jury last week , the caller pleaded for help, while a voice in the background -- which Assistant District Attorney Nancy Lee told jurors was Hawkins -- saying, "Die. Aren't you dead yet?" and, "Don't you ever threaten me with a gun."
Hawkins insisted in his testimony that his voice was the one asking for help.
"That's my voice you hear," Hawkins said.
But when asked by prosecutors about whether he was one saying, "Die. Aren't you dead yet?" he said he didn't remember saying that.
Assistant District Attorney Dawn Tutterow wasted no time attacking Hawkins' credibility. She quickly pointed out glaring inconsistencies between Hawkins' testimony and what he told investigators on Oct. 19, 2010, including:
• He testifed that he stabbed Clark in the living room but told investigators it was the kitchen.
• He testified he didn't remember what he did with the knife, but he told investigators he hid the knife in the couch.
• He testified that he was holding the knife in his hand as he tried to get out of Clark's house, but he told investigators that he had hidden the knife up his sleeve when he started to feel threatened by Clark.
Tutterow also read back to Hawkins portions of his Oct. 19 interview that Hawkins says he doesn't remember.
"I don't recall a lot of that morning, except wanting a lawyer and wanting an ambulance," Hawkins replied. "I was in a daze, I had been up all night drinking."
The trial resumes today.