ST. JOE — The suspect in a June 30 stabbing incident in St. Joe has been charged with attempted murder.
Leslie J. Swindell, 40, of Lane 134 Turkey Lake, Hudson, initially was booked into the DeKalb County Jail at Auburn early Wednesday morning on a Level 3 felony charge of aggravated battery. According to documents filed Thursday in DeKalb Superior Court II, Swindell also is charged with attempted murder, a Level 1 felony.
An affidavit filed in DeKalb Superior Court I by Indiana State Police Detective David Poe says DeKalb County police were called to the 500 block of Washington Street in St. Joe at 10:45 p.m. on June 30 in regard to a person who had been stabbed.
The victim, identified as Tristin Miller, was found in a parking lot at that location, having suffered a stab wound to the left side of his chest. He was transported to Parkview Regional Medical Center for treatment, the affidavit said.
Miller told responding officers that Swindell was the person who had stabbed him, Poe said in the affidavit.
Police discovered that Swindell had left the scene prior to officers arriving. A police K-9 tracked Swindell to a mobile home court on the east side of town. Swindell was found hiding under a bush and was taken into custody, according to the affidavit.
Poe said he spoke with several witnesses to the stabbing. One witness said he saw Miller and Swindell yelling at each other in close proximity when Swindell swung at Miller, the affidavit said. The witness initially did not realize that Swindell had stabbed Miller until he saw a knife in Swindell’s right hand, Poe said in the affidavit.
The witness told Poe that Swindell and Miller had been pushing each other prior to the stabbing, but the witness did not observe Miller to be armed, the affidavit said.
The witness contacted Poe on July 1 and advised Poe that he was carrying a handgun with him when the stabbing occurred but that he did not point it at anyone, nor did he draw it from the holster, according to the affidavit.
Poe said he obtained a copy of surveillance footage from the Pizza Subs & BBQ restaurant, in the 500 block of Washington Street, that showed Swindell and two other people standing near a pop machine.
The video showed Miller and the witness arriving and parking their vehicles, and Miller approached Swindell.
Miller and the witness then stood face-to-face and appeared to be arguing. Miller made a “kissing motion” and went close to, but appeared to not contact, Swindell’s face, Poe said.
Swindell then swung his right arm toward the left side of Miller’s chest, and an object that is believed to be a knife could be seen in Swindell’s hand, the affidavit said.
Swindell and Miller separated, and Miller walked a few feet away before he grabbed his chest, the affidavit said. Poe said he did not observe Miller with any weapons when he watched the video.
Swindell appeared for an initial hearing in DeKalb Superior Court II Monday morning. Judge Monte Brown set bail for his release from jail at $100,000 and scheduled a pre-trial hearing for Aug. 31.