The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday reinstated a self-defense claim and dismissed charges against a man who stabbed his neighbor with a Samurai-style Katana sword after a drunken wrestling match went bad.
The Supreme Court overturned a Court of Appeals ruling in the case and agreed with the original trial court that aggravated battery charges against Dustin Alex Evans should be dropped. Evans, of Overland Park, stabbed his neighbor Jose Luis Pena Jr.
After a night of drinking, the two men agreed to wrestle in a mixed martial arts match on mats laid out in the driveway of Evans’ home. But the friendly contest soured when Evans accused Pena of trying to kill him by covering his mouth and nose and cutting off his air, court records said.
Evans broke free and retreated to his garage.
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“Once inside his garage, Evans grabbed a katana-style sword and stabbed Pena in the abdomen,” said the Supreme Court opinion written by Justic Caleb Stegall.
“Evans asserted that Pena advanced on him in the garage, threatening to kill Evans. Pena claimed that he never entered Evans’ garage, but crime scene photographs showed an apparent blood trail beginning inside the garage and extending through the garage onto the driveway, front porch steps, and across the street.”
Johnson County District Judge Thomas Ryan ruled the stabbing was self-defense and dismissed charges against Evans.
The Court of Appeals reinstated the case on an appeal from prosecutors who argued that some evidence was disputable and the case should go to a jury trial.
The Supreme Court upheld the trial judge’s ruling, saying he had “weighed the evidence and found that Pena’s testimony – which changed multiple times and did not comport with the blood trail evidence – was not credible.”
Strange Kansas stories in the news
Today's story isn't the first time an unusual Wichita or Kansas story has made the rounds.
Here are some other stories you may remember:
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