PITTSFIELD -- Two very different descriptions of a fight that led to one man’s stabbing and the other being put on trial for armed assault with the intent to murder emerged at trial Thursday in Berkshire Superior Court.
The trial of Taequan Carter, 19, for the July 29, 2010, stabbing of then 38-year-old Phillipe Laframboise began with Berkshire Assistant District Attorney Marianne Shelvey telling the 14 jurors that the defendant "brought a knife to a fist fight."
According to Shelvey, Carter became angry when Laframboise threw him out of a house party on Lincoln Street in Pittsfield. What started as pushing turned to punching and ended with the victim being stabbed seven times by Carter, she said.
Shelvey’s version of events differed from those of Carter’s attorney, Jennifer Tyne.
Tyne said Laframboise attacked Carter out of jealousy after a woman Laframboise brought home from a bar got together with Carter at the party.
Laframboise threw Carter down a set of stairs and beat him with a broken broom handle while his friends held Carter against a wall, Tyne told the jury.
"It’s a case of self-defense," she told the jurors. "Mr. Carter had every right to do what he did." Laframboise was "bigger, stronger Š and more aggressive" than Carter, she said.
Two of the prosecution’s witnesses also seemed to differ from one another on the details of the night in question.
According to John Newton, one of the residents of the apartment where the fight took place, he heard noises coming from the hall, went to investigate, and saw two men standing over Laframboise, who was crumpled on the floor. Newton said he didn’t see either a knife or a broom handle being used by anyone. He followed Laframboise down the front steps and to his truck where he noticed Laframboise was covered in blood.
Jimmy Rusher, another of the apartment’s residents, said he came out of the living room to find Carter and Laframboise fighting in the apartment’s hallway. Rusher separated the two men, holding Laframboise back while Newton did the same with Carter.
Rusher said he never saw Laframboise or Carter with a weapon. Rusher eventually went back to the living room believing the fight had ended, he told the court, and didn’t see Laframboise leave the house.
Carter’s trial resumes Monday with the continuation of the prosecution’s case. Testimony will likely conclude Tuesday.