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Opening statements expected in fatal Park West stabbing

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By Tyler Stocks
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Opening statements and final trial motions are expected to begin this morning as jurors hear the case of a Greenville man accused of stabbing to death an autistic man near a grocery store off of Stantonsburg Road in Greenville.

Michael Anthony O'Neal, 24, of 4302 Evans Street is one of four co-defendants facing charges in the death of Steven Joseph Rouse. 

According to police, Rouse, 22, was stabbed multiple times during an altercation that started about 7 p.m. on October 19, 2015, in the Park West neighborhood which is adjacent to the Walmart Neighborhood Market where he was found.

Witnesses told police they observed Rouse running from a group of men who were fighting in a field behind the store. Rouse was chased down and stabbed. Greenville Police said he sustained wounds to his upper torso before making his way to the rear of the store. He was transported by Greenville Fire-Rescue to Vidant Medical Center but succumbed to his injuries.

Co-defendant Curtis Lamar Wade, 28, took O'Neal to Vidant a short time later. O'Neal sustained minor injuries in the incident.

Detectives interviewed Wade and O'Neal and spoke to witnesses. They were able to connect Wade and O'Neal to Rouse's death. Both men were charged with felony first degree murder and booked in the Pitt County Detention Center, each under a $2 million bond.

“Any time we lose a member of our community to violence it is tragic,” a Greenville Police Department news release said at the time of the incident. “Thanks to the cooperation of nearby residents and the dedication of the detectives working the case, the Greenville Police Department was able to find quick resolution and justice for Mr. Rouse and his family.”

Kristen Hunter, the police department's public information officer said that the altercation may have started over a woman.

The other co-defendants Zataysia Taylor and Chenitra Mona Gramby were arrested and charged with accessory after the fact in Rouse’s murder.  

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