Judge hears argument to dismiss Bowling Green fatal stabbing charge

Published: May. 31, 2016 at 5:54 PM CDT
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Ever since Kuston Johnson was killed in Bowling Green on September 10, his girlfriend Kaylee Whitehall has claimed self-defense. Tuesday her attorney furthered that argument, by asking a judge to dismiss the charge of reckless homicide.

Two witnesses took the stand describing a violent night on Lost River Lane in 2015. Neither knew what started the argument between Whitehall and Johnson, but Brittany Jones said things became serious quickly.

"I just tried to separate them from the argument. Kuston wouldn't come with me, so Kaylee went with me into the garage."

Jones testified that when Kaylee tried to re-enter the house, the yelling match became physical. She claims at one point, Whitehall had a knife and Johnson grabbed it from her. Jones stated it wasn't the same knife Whitehall would eventually use to kill Johnson.

"He reached around and Kuston slapped her. I was like woah, woah, stop!"

From there the fight only escalated.

"She started throwing stuff: candles, vases, and whatever," Jones testified in court.

"He goes into his bathroom and there's a big gash from here to here," said the only other witness that night, who is also Jones' boyfriend.

According to witness testimony, both Johnson and Whitehall ended up in a bedroom. No witness said they saw Kaylee stab Kuston with with the steak knife that was used, but the moments after are still vivid.

"He was saying that she just stabbed him and he was going to kill her because she just stabbed him," said Jones.

At first, Whitehall was in disbelief as Johnson collapsed according to Brittany Jones, but when an ambulance was called and Johnson stopped breathing she became hysterical, helping with chest compressions that were advised from emergency workers while the ambulance was en route.

Judge Steve Wilson heard the new testimony along with both attorneys in the case. Now he's tasked with ruling on the motion to dismiss the felony reckless homicide charge Kaylee is facing. It carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Kaylee's attorney, expecting to wait at least a week for the judge's decision, feels the law is on his client's side.

"She was getting to the point where she was fearful for her life and that's why she used the force that she did," said attorney Dennie Hardin.

Judge Steve Wilson is expected to review the evidence and witness testimony, which includes a crime scene walk through before making his final decision.

There's no time limit on how long the judge has to make his decision. If he continues the case, Kaylee Whitehall's next appearance in court will be in June.

Both the Commonwealth Attorney's office, and Kuston Johnson's family declined to comment on the case Tuesday.