Police Blotter: Charged with stabbing, man granted house arrest
A federal judge has agreed to release a Crownpoint man accused of second-degree murder to house arrest pending his trial.
Judge John Robbenhaar agreed to release Blaine Morgan to his residence after a July 28 hearing. Robbenhaar said he felt after the hearing that Morgan did not pose a danger to his community and would show up at future hearings.
Morgan, 35, was arrested by Navajo Police on March 29 after he turned himself in. He claimed that he had stabbed another Crownpoint man several times in self-defense after an argument occurred about work matters.
Several people were at a trailer belonging to G.C. at the time of the stabbing, which occurred outside of the trailer. Only a couple of the witnesses were outside when the stabbing occurred.
The victim was identified in court records as I.A. In his interview with FBI investigators, Morgan said he was at the trailer talking about oil pipeline work when one of the men, referred in court records as K.P., became aggressive. Morgan said during the argument, K.P. told him that if he was going to get “all bad,” he was going to call his brother, I.A. I.A. soon arrived.
Morgan said at that point, he decided to leave but as he did, he was hit in the back of his head and stumbled out of the trailer. He said he thought to himself, “Oh shoot, they are trying to jump me.”
Morgan said that because he is a rancher, he carries a knife. As he pulled it out, he said he told the brothers to “get away.” He said he then began waving his knife from side to side randomly to get them to back away.
At that point, FBI investigators told him that the wounds to the victim did not look as if he was struck by someone waving their knife from side to side. Morgan replied that he did not remember what he was doing so he could have done it differently.
He continued to say that his actions were done in self-defense after being hit on the head. He made no mention of actually stabbing the victim. He said he remembered jumping in his truck and thinking to himself that he was glad he didn’t get jumped. He said as he was driving away, he looked at his hand and noticed there was blood on it and began thinking to himself “how he was going to deal with this.” He said he decided to meet with the cops.
When he did that, he was arrested. Other people in the trailer had different versions of what happened that day. The victim’s brother said he saw Morgan and the victim arguing inside the trailer when they decided to take it outside. He said he then saw Morgan throw the first shot. He said he then saw Morgan hit his brother in his chest near his heart.
At that point, the two wrapped themselves around each other, like boxers. He said he then saw a Morgan stab his brother and then walk away as if nothing had happened. K.P. said he then turned his attention to his brother who was complaining about having problems breathing.
He said he helped his brother go into the trailer and began putting pressure on his wound as he kept saying, “Don’t let me die.” Another witness, identified as B.B., said she was in the trailer as Morgan talked with pride about his work.
Then the victim entered the trailer and was aggressive. She said K.P. then told his brother that that Morgan was “calling him out.” She said Morgan said he was only asking people where they worked. She said she then heard the victim say something like, “Let’s take this outside.”
She said she did not go outside. None of the witnesses said they saw anyone with weapons before the fight but several said they saw Morgan with a knife after the fight. The victim was transported to Gallup Indian Medical Center where he was declared dead on arrival.