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Stabbing suspect pleads not guilty

By Diane SmithRecord-Courier staff writer Published: November 25, 1997 12:00 AM

Marcus Barnes, of 822 Silver Meadows Blvd., was charged with two counts of felonious assault, both second-degree felonies in connection with the stabbings of Christopher DeAngelis, 20, of 5280 Rootstown Road, Ravenna, and Cristopher Wawrin, 21, of 3741 Old Forge Road, Rootstown, who remains hospitalized.

Barnes, who turned himself in to Kent police Saturday, remains held in the Portage County Jail in lieu of a $200,000 cash bond set Monday by Judge Perry Dickinson in Portage County Municipal Court in Kent.

"I feel the bond should not be that high based on the situation I was in," Barnes said during his arraignment. "It was self-defense."

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A Portage County grand jury, which has the power to indict Barnes on felony-level charges, reportedly convened this morning at the courthouse in Ravenna to hear testimony concerning the stabbings.

Kent police are still investigating the details of what led to the violence, which occurred after a fight in front of a residence in the 900 block of West Main Street where the three had attended a party.

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"We're still conducting an investigation and doing follow-up interviews on people that we know were there," Lt. James Stein of the Kent Police Department said this morning. "Things are getting a little bit clearer."

Police have interviewed DeAngelis but would not disclose this morning what he said. DeAngelis was unavailable for comment this morning.

Kent police confiscated a steak knife and a lock-blade knife after executing a search warrant at Barnes' apartment Saturday, according to court documents. Police are unsure if either was the weapon used during the fight.

Wawrin, a computer science major at Kent State University, remains in critical condition at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, where he is in the intensive care unit. He reportedly was stabbed in his left armpit, sustaining damage to an artery and several blood vessels when the knife was stabbed into his chest.

DeAngelis was treated and released at Robinson Memorial Saturday for wounds to his face, his left ear, the back of his neck, and his arm.

Along with Kent police, Assistant Portage County Prosecutor Christopher Meduri requested Barnes be held on a high bond because "one of the victims is in very, very serious condition," he said.

Barnes also has three prior offenses, including charges of petty theft and domestic violence, and a charge of driving under a license suspension, for which Barnes failed to appear for a court appearance and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

But Barnes told the judge the theft charge was several years old, the domestic violence charge was dropped, and he appeared in court to face the driving under suspension charge.

Barnes' next court appearance will be at a preliminary hearing at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Barnes told the judge he would hire his own attorney.

Staff writer Deanna Hohler Bottar contributed to this story.

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