A key witness of the Capital Lodge man camp stabbing later said he was “sorry he lied about what happened that night,” defense attorney Nicole Foster alleged Wednesday.
The early morning stabbing in March left 32-year-old Christopher King dead, with his longtime friend Ryan Anderson, 31, in custody. Anderson appeared Wednesday morning in the Williams County Courthouse for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there was probable cause to send the murder charge forward.
Anderson was also facing an attempted murder charge against the witness, which was dismissed on Tuesday. District Judge Joshua Rustad found probable cause to carry the murder charge on, with Anderson pleading not guilty.
But during the cross examination of Sgt. Det. Caleb Fry of the Williams County Sheriff’s Office, Foster questioned the circumstances of the incident and nature of the fighting between Anderson and the victim.
In the affidavit filed in support of the charges, Fry alleged that King and other witnesses interrupted a fight between Anderson and his girlfriend in the alcohol-infused night leading up to the stabbing.
“Mr. Anderson grabs Mr. King and you can see his arm come back, the arm with the knife in it, and go forward,” Fry said in the hearing about the surveillance video of the incident.
He said Anderson used a 4-inch “hunting knife,” which had blood and pieces of flesh on it afterward, to stab King in the heart, around the heart and twice in the stomach.
But Foster raised questions about the chain of events, asking if Anderson can be seen having a physical altercation with his girlfriend, who has not been interviewed in the case. Fry said he cannot be seen fighting with her in the surveillance video.
Foster also said her client was “seriously injured” in the fight with bruising on his neck and asked if Fry had seen evidence of King pushing Anderson’s head three times into the wall. Fry said officers did not see damage to the walls.
“You literally see him lunging at my client?” Foster questioned Fry of the surveillance video and King’s behavior.
“Yes,” Fry responded.
“But Ryan’s just standing there?” she asked.
“Correct,” he said.
Foster asked whether drugs had been found, mentioning steroids possibly being in King’s system. In re-direct questioning, State’s Attorney Marlyce Wilder countered with a question on drugs and the suspect, and Fry said six unidentified pills were found on Anderson as well.
At the hospital, Fry said Anderson attempted to run out the front door when police arrived.
“‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt him,’” Anderson said, according to Fry. Anderson and King were also often involved in fights and had been out drinking earlier in the night, he said.
But Foster asked why officers can be heard on audio questioning whether they should read Anderson his Miranda Rights.
“I wasn’t there on scene,” Fry said, at that point. “I don’t know why.”
Rustad agreed to bind over the murder charge, also cutting bond in half from $1 million to $500,000. Foster argued Anderson has a local support system and in light of the line of questioning, requested a $50,000 bond.
Wilder pointed to a misdemeanor assault charge in Michigan that Anderson missed an appearance on, with Rustad settling on the $500,000 bond in light of the murder charge.