YORK -- A disagreement over a girl caused a fight that led to a fatal stabbing during a birthday party in Clover more than a week ago, officials said.
A Spartanburg judge will rule today whether 16-year-old Caleb Preston George will be granted bond in connection with the stabbing death of 21-year-old Jake Randall Miller.
On Dec. 2, George and Miller were invited to a Clover birthday party, where both men were drinking, according to court testimony. A fight erupted.
"There was a fight over a girl," 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett said Monday during a York bond hearing. "They grabbed each other in the kitchen. Mr. George grabbed a knife."
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Witnesses said Miller and George were arguing, and then George grabbed the knife from a knife block and stabbed Miller in the neck, according to court testimony and a report from the York County Sheriff's Office.
Miller, whose girlfriend is eight weeks pregnant, had lost a large amount of blood when police found him in a chair in the kitchen, according to Brackett and the report.
Miller was stabbed once, Rock Hill attorney Leland Greeley said. Miller was flown to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and died the next day.
Defense argues self-defense
George, who had a bloody mouth and broken nose, fled but later turned himself into authorities, Greeley said.
"This case is going to be self-defense," he said.
Brackett disagreed with Greeley's defense. "There was no fear of death or serious bodily injury," he said.
At first, police charged George with assault and battery with intent to kill. The charge was upgraded to murder and possession of a knife during a violent crime, according to arrest warrants.
A murder charge could carry a sentence of up to life without parole. Possession of a knife during a violent crime yields a 5-year sentence, Brackett said.
George remained in custody Monday night at the York County Detention Center.