Butler County Times Gazette
  • Tarrant to stand trial in stabbing

  • Deborah Tarrant will be standing trial in the stabbing of her roommate in June.
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  • Deborah Tarrant will be standing trial in the stabbing of her roommate in June.
    Tarrant appeared in Butler County District Court Friday for a preliminary hearing in the June 5 stabbing of Kabrina Law at 922 S. Summit.
    The first to testify in the hearing was El Dorado Police Officer Michael Moore, who was first on the scene. He testified he was dispatched to the home for the report of a stabbing in progress shortly after the shift change at 6 p.m.
    "When I arrived there, I observed a white female sitting on the ground," he said. "She appeared to be bloody. She appeared to have several stab wounds."
    While he was talking to the person, who would be identified as Law, he noticed another white female who had blood splatter on her leave the residence and he ordered her to the ground.
    He then entered into the residence where he found a chemical smell, which was pepper spray, in the bedroom and wasn't able to enter that room. He also observed blood in that room.
    In further talking with the two women, Law said she was stabbed by her roommate and that she had taken the weapons and hidden them behind a tree.
    "She stated she was stabbed multiple times by her roommate," Moore said, explaining she had a bite mark on her right arm and multiple stab wounds on her head.
    Law was transported to Wesley Medical Center by Butler County EMS.
    Lt. Travis Pierce, who was the shift supervisor, also responded to the call, which he said was made at about 6:43 p.m.
    "I spoke to Deborah," he said. "I asked Deborah how she was doing that day and she said she was fine and had seen a shadow man and knew it was going to be a bad day. She stated she had checked on her roommate who was living with her because Deborah allowed her to live there."
    He said she checked on her roommate three times that day, then the roommate attacked her with a knife and held it to her throat. He also said Tarrant had bloody hair stuck to her hands and she said she had been maced.
    He said Tarrant was still and calm at that time.
    Advanced EMT Debora Davis also testified about responding to the call.
    She said Law had blood on her face and her hair was matted with blood. She said at the base of her neck she had two punctures consistent with a claw hammer and the other wounds were from a knife.
    After Law arrived at Wesley she was treated by Physician Assistant Tirzah Rice.
    Page 2 of 4 - She described Law as anxious, tearful and her heart was racing.
    Rice found multiple lacerations including three on the scalp, one on her leg, left palm and chest wall, as well as the nasal crease. She also saw bite marks on one of her forearms and facial contusions. There were no internal injuries, other than a nasal bone fracture.
    She admitted Law overnight for observation and stapled the lacerations closed. She said the cuts went through the second layer of skin.
    Law, who is from Dodge City, then told her story.
    She said she moved in with Tarrant in April of this year after finding her ad for a roommate on Craig's List. She testified they had met twice before she moved in.
    They didn't really socialize, only hanging out once the first week, but after that just being acquaintances.
    She went on to talk about the day of the attack.
    "I woke up that day around noon, and I made something to eat," Law said. "All I remember is talking to my mom on the phone and going to McDonald's, then coming home and taking a nap at 5 or 6."
    She recalled Tarrant knocked on her bedroom door, saying she didn't respond, thinking she would come back later like she always did.
    "This time she came in and tapped me on the shoulder and said 'Kabrina, will you help me with something'," Law testified. "I said 'Yeah' and turned over and that is when she first punched me. I kind of blacked out for a little bit and that's when the stabbing started. I believe she punched me a few times. I'm not sure what with. I came to and once I realized what was happening again, she was on by bed with me and there was already blood everywhere. I must have leaned forward or something because all my stab wounds were in the back of my head. I realized she was stabbing me and I was screaming and asking her to stop and asking why."
    She said Tarrant wouldn't answer here and didn't say anything during the attack.
    "She continued to stab me and I didn't try to fight back at first, then I started to put the pieces together in my head and I grabbed the steak knife from her hand and I threw it down," she said.
    She also noticed Tarrant had brought in a hammer and she grabbed it and started trying to hit her.
    "I felt really weak," she continued, "so I couldn't swing very hard. After that she bit down on my arm to I grabbed her hand and bit into her knuckle. After the biting, I grabbed my mace which I had on a bookshelf next to my bed, and I maced her in the eyes. At that time she finally spoke to me and said 'OK, I'll stop'."
    Page 3 of 4 - Law told Tarrant she didn't believe her and Law grabbed her phone, the hammer and knife and ran outside where she called 911.
    "I never knew why but we didn't have any knives in the house when I moved in," she said. "She brought it in or bought it somewhere."
    During her 911 call, Law said she explained she thought she was dying because she was dizzy and everything began to turn black around her.
    "I just kind of laid down in the grass until I heard officers arrive and I ran out to them," she testified.
    While she has no remaining affects from her injuries, other than scares and her nose which she is going to have fixed, she said she is paranoid and it has taken a mental toll on her.
    "I'm just fearful a lot and having flashbacks and afraid at night," Law said. "I am afraid to face away from doors and afraid of people. I am afraid of knives and really sensitive to violence."
    Lt. John Stewart, supervisor of investigations with the El Dorado Police Department, testified next.
    He said he was at home when he received the call of the stabbing.
    After arriving at the scene, he helped secure the crime scene.
    He said they collected hair taken from the defendant's hand and collected the hammer, knife and pepper spray can.
    A search warrant was applied for and he then helped process the inside of the home at about 10:15 p.m.
    He described it as pretty plain inside, with not a lot of furniture.
    "In the back bedroom it was obvious that was where the assault had taken place," he said.
    Among the items collected were a comforter from the living room with blood on it, a blood sample from the living room carpet, blood samples from the door knobs and a package for some knives found in the trash in the living room, as well as a handwritten shopping list that included knives.
    Then in the hallway he said they collected a lens from sunglasses on the floor that were covered in blood. There also were blood splatters all over the door frame and a little on the wall.
    In the bedroom, he said there was an air conditioner in the window covered with blood, blood on the window blinds and the floor.
    Next to testify was Det. Maggie Schreiber, who said she was called in at 7 p.m. for the stabbing.
    She interviewed Law three times during the investigation, with the first time being at the hospital.
    "I asked Miss Law to explain to me what happened," she said.
    Page 4 of 4 - She recounted the same events as Law had testified to earlier.
    Schreiber said Law told her she had not seen the knife before.
    Law also told Schreiber Tarrant had slept most of the day and the previous day and thought she may be depressed.
    Schreiber said Law told her that during the attack she believed Tarrant was going to kill her.
    In a later interview, Law told her Tarrant had just been staring at her the day before and also just stared at her when she left the house the day of the attack to go to McDonald's.
    Schreiber also reviewed the 911 call and spoke with management of Dollar General, from whom she received video footage showing Tarrant in the store on June 5, where she had bought several items, including the knives. She also had the transaction record from that time period.
    Schreiber also testified during an interview with Law, she had told her something she had remembered. When she moved in, Tarrant had a heart on the mirror in the living room that was from Jodi Arias, along with a jail address. Arias was tried for a stabbing in Arizona. Law also told her approximately a week before the stabbing, Tarrant had put up a black and white photo of Arias.
    In reviewing evidence, Schreiber saw a photo showing the heart on the mirror as well as a photo of a female that appeared to be similar to Arias on the mirror.
    On cross examination, Defense Attorney Jim Watts questioned that the items purchased were normal household items and Schreiber agreed they were.
    He went on to ask about Tarrant's comment about shadow men and asked if she had looked into it further or followed up to see what that might mean.
    Schreiber said she had not and wouldn't know who to follow up with in that case.
    He also pointed out Arias gets lots of mail and answers all of her mail, as well as got a lot of interest from a lot of people.
    The state rested at this point and the defense did not have any evidence to present.
    "The court does find probable cause to believe that the defendant did commit the crime of attempted murder in the first degree as set forth in count 1," Hart said.
    She will appear in court again on Aug. 25 for arraignment.

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