Rock Hill teen charged in York man's stabbing death

YORK -- A 16-year-old Rock Hill boy has been charged with murder and will be tried as an adult after authorities say he stabbed a 21-year-old York man at a party early Sunday morning.

Caleb Preston George, 16, of 3250 Newcastle Drive, Rock Hill, stabbed 21-year-old Jake Randall Miller of 5491 W. Liberty Hill Road in the neck with a kitchen knife around 1 a.m. Sunday, said Lt. Tim Hager of the York County Sheriff's Office. Hager said the two men were arguing at a party at 535 Owens Road, located in the Filbert community between York and Clover, when Miller was stabbed.

"There was some indication the two were taking their argument outside," Hager said. "When they went through the kitchen, things escalated and (George) grabbed a knife."

Hager said deputies arrived at the scene minutes later. He said Miller was transported to Piedmont Medical Center and then flown to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Miller died from the stab wound later that morning, Hager said.

George turned himself in to authorities early Sunday and originally was charged with aggravated assault, a York County Sheriff's Office report states. But after Miller died, that charge was changed to murder, Hager said.

Hager said no one else was injured at the party. He said about 10 people were at the party when police arrived. Other details about circumstances leading up to the stabbing still are under investigation, Hager said.

'He was like family'

Joey Aruta, who was hosting the party for his girlfriend's 18th birthday, said he was friends with both Miller and George. He said it's unclear what started the argument.

"I was in another room, and I heard all the commotion. When I came out, all I thought was, 'This is not good.'" said Aruta, 21, who was holding a cloth to Miller's wound when deputies arrived. "I haven't been able to go back in there since."

Aruta said Miller, a former Clover High School student who worked full-time performing cell phone tower maintenance, was a close friend.

"He was a good dude," he said. "He was like family -- a good friend."

Aruta said he also has known George for years, but he didn't know of any prior conflicts between the two individuals.

Rock Hill School District spokeswoman Elaine Baker said George last attended Northwestern High School as a ninth-grader in September 2005. Aruta said George has been homeschooled since then.

Attempts to contact family members of Miller and George were unsuccessful Monday.

George remained in custody at the York County Detention Center on Monday evening. Jail officials said bond had not yet been determined.