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W.Va. woman testifies she repeatedly was stabbed with ice pick

March 30, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG - A Martinsburg woman testified Monday that a little more than a month ago her estranged boyfriend stabbed her with an ice pick 23 times, causing wounds to her eye, lung, neck, chest, back, shoulder and head.

Charles William Newman, 27, of 52 Phlox Lane, was charged Feb. 26 with one felony count of malicious wounding. He is charged in the stabbing of Tina Butts.

After the preliminary hearing Monday afternoon in Berkeley County Magistrate Court, Magistrate Kristy Greer found probable cause to forward the case to Circuit Court for possible grand jury indictment.

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Newman did not testify during the hearing and his attorney, public defender Joseph Whiteoak, did not call any witnesses.

The only person to testify was Butts, who said she and Newman had dated for about eight months, but were living apart and on the verge of breaking up at the time she was stabbed.

Butts was not asked specifically what may have sparked the argument, but said she and Newman had previously discussed her having an abortion, which Newman opposed. Butts testified she told Newman not to worry too much about it, because she probably could not afford it.

In court records, West Virginia State Police Trooper J.C. Weaver, who investigated the case, listed the possible abortion as the cause of the fight.

Her testimony interrupted by crying, Butts said Newman came to her mobile home on Paynes Ford Road around 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 26, even though she previously told him not to.

Newman knocked and then let himself in through a door that had been left ajar, Butts said. Butts said her three other children, aged 7, 4 and 2, were in the home with her. She said she was asleep on a living room couch.

Once inside, Newman went into a back bedroom, where he said he was going to retrieve an item. Butts said she twice refused his request that she meet with him in the room.

Newman then came into the living room, pulled an ice pick from his right pocket and stabbed Butts, she testified. She said she spent five days afterward in a hospital.

When Whiteoak asked whether Newman seemed agitated or upset, Butts said he did not appear to be. She said she did not get close enough to him to know whether his breath smelled of alcohol.

Before the hearing ended, Whiteoak asked that Newman's bail be reduced from $100,000 to $75,000, saying his client has a job in the area and maintains he is innocent.

Greer declined to reduce the bail, citing fear for Butts' safety.

Conviction of a charge of malicious wounding carries a sentence of two to 10 years in prison.

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