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November 14, 2012

Witness in Garrett stabbing trial: Conflict between victim, suspect

OAKLAND — About two weeks before Kendall Shane Lowers allegedly stabbed William Thomas Sachs Jr. there was a conflict between the two, according to Elder Petershime, who was working with Sachs during the time the conflict occurred.

“Kendall walked up to Bill and asked, ‘Why did you call my mother a W-H-O-R-E,’” said Petershime during the second day of the jury trial in Garrett County Circuit Court on Thursday.  

Garrett County State’s Attorney Lisa Thayer Welch asked Petershime what Lowers and Sachs’ demeanors were and if there was a physical fight.

Lowers was upset and Sachs was surprised and there was no fight, according to Petershime, who added that he asked Lowers to leave and he complied.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 27, 2011, Petershime was on his way to a store when he thought he saw Sachs enter the sheriff’s office.

Petershime went into the lobby and determined that it was Sachs. Welch asked Petershime if anyone assisted Sachs and asked what condition he was in.

“There were no officers in the lobby, but (Sachs) spoke with the officer that came to the window,” said Petershime. “It appeared that Bill’s fingers were bleeding, he had blood on his shirt and hands. He was shaking. I think he was going into shock. I was dumbfounded. I felt sorry for him.”

Welch then asked Petershime what he said to Sachs.

“I asked him what happened and he said, ‘Kenny and I got into a fight and he tried to kill me.’”

Welch questioned whether investigator Capt. J.D. Murphy or any other officers attempted to locate a knife or similar implement used in the encounter.

Murphy said that he as well as several other officers searched about four acres near the overlook where the assault was reported as well as a trail off state Route 39 for any sings of a camp or weapon.

“The only thing we found near the platform was a deer stand and a deer blind,” said Murphy.

After Lowers was apprehended, Murphy questioned him in the early hours of Nov. 27 and did not observe any marks or injuries on Lowers. Murphy said that the sleeves of Lowers’ green winter jacket were soaked with blood and the blue jeans he was wearing had blood on them.

Welch questioned whether there were any cuts on Lowers’ coat and Murphy indicated there weren’t. A small amount of blood was also found on a pocket on Lowers’ backpack.

At the scene, officers found a bloodstained ball cap, blood on the platform railing and below the platform.

All the items found were entered as evidence.

Also entered into evidence were Sachs’ bloodstained T-shirt, jacket, jeans, boots and boxers, which were obtained by Deputy Timothy Sisler at Garrett Memorial Hospital.

Murphy indicated that Sachs’ coat had two puncture marks in the area below the right arm above the kidney and his T-shirt had a mark above the tag near the neck area.

Welch questioned whether Murphy interviewed Sachs in detail following the encounter. Murphy noted he had a brief interview with Sachs at Garrett Memorial Hospital following the incident and conducted a more detailed, tape-recorded interview with Sachs at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va., on Nov. 30.

The 12 jurors were expected to reach a verdict sometime during the evening.

During a plea hearing in April, Lowers entered a not guilty plea and his trial date was postponed because of the complicated nature of the case.

Lowers is facing charges of attempted first- and second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

He has been held in the Garrett County Detention Center on $250,000 bond since the time of his arrest.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

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