Arrest made in Pennsylvania stabbing death

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com April 05 2003 12:00 AM ET

A Plains Township, Pa., man who claimed that his boyfriend stabbed him now stands accused of stabbing his boyfriend to death, the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports. Kenneth Stephens Jr., 21, told police that he was defending himself during an altercation with boyfriend Michael Pierson on January 28, but he never revealed that Pierson was hurt during the argument as well. Pierson's body was found March 12 in local golf course pond.

Stephens has now been charged with an open count of criminal homicide in Pierson's death, and prosecutors say he gave a contradictory report to police on January 28. "All I could tell you is that there were inconsistencies in which we believe that we weren't getting the whole picture from him," Lackawanna County district attorney Andy Jarbola said. "And because of that we feel as though he was responsible for [Pierson's] death."

The open count of homicide allows prosecutors to seek a number of convictions, including murder or manslaughter, the Times Leader reports.

According to arrest papers, Stephens told police the following: He and Pierson began fighting as they were driving away from a bar in Scranton. Stephens pulled out a pocket knife with a three- to four-inch blade in order to scare Pierson and make him stop fighting. Pierson then grabbed the knife, stabbed Stephens, and then hit him with a pair of pliers. Stephens stopped the car, got out, and called 911. Then, after Pierson got out of the car, Stephens got back in.

Pierson then got back into the vehicle, and the two started arguing again, prompting Pierson to get on top of Stephens and stab him in the neck. Stephens then wrested the knife away from Pierson. Stephens finally kicked Pierson and then stabbed him in the chest. Pierson then left the vehicle.

When police arrived, Stephens did not tell them he stabbed Pierson or that Pierson was injured, police said.