Man accused of attempted murder in Beckley stabbing appears in court

Local - 7/15/2013 4:34 PM by Karen Franklin
BECKLEY - A stabbing victim and the man accused of trying to kill him appeared in Raleigh County court Monday for a hearing.

Michael Dale Wafford faces first-degree attempted murder and malicious wounding stemming from a May incident at Plaza Mall.

Beckley Police said Wafford stabbed Tattoo artist James Tate Jr., known as "Ogre," multiple times during a confrontation.

The fight started when Wafford yelled at his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Carolyn Trent. Tate Jr. intervened and tried to escort Wafford off the property, according to police.

The stabbing occurred near Robert C. Byrd Drive when the argument escalated. Tate Jr. was bleeding profusely and taken to the hospital.

But attorney Kris Kostenko argued his client stabbed Tate Jr. in self defense because he was threatened by his 6-foot-6-inch, 300-pound body.

In court, Magistrate Tomi Sue Peck ruled there was enough probable cause to send the case to a grand jury. Wafford remains in jail on $250,000 bond.

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