Jury to Decide: Was Tyrell Swann Stabbed in Cold Blood or Self-Defense?

Prosecutors say that Daren Vaughn left a fight with his friend Tyrell Swann angry and bruised, planning to grab a knife from his house and seek revenge.

When Vaughn returned, he pushed past Swann’s sister, brandished the knife in her face, and told her to “get the f*ck out” of his way. Though Swann’s mother also tried to keep the men separate, Vaughn managed to stab Swann through his lung and into his heart, killing him.

Vaughn’s defense attorney, Jacqueline Cadman, says that Swann’s sister, Nakita Bourn, wasn’t even in the room where she claims Swann was stabbed. According to Cadman, Vaughn purposefully avoided Swann when he returned that night because he instead hoped to speak with Bourn, a woman he occasionally dated. But when he returned, Swann began choking him, so Vaughn stabbed him in self-defense.

Jurors considered these arguments Monday as they began deliberating in the case charging Vaughn with first-degree premeditated murder, first-degree burglary and three other related charges in connection with stabbing death of 22-year-old Swann.

Swann was found dead from a stab wound in the 500 Block of 50th Place Northeast on September 27, 2012. Vaughn was arrested shortly after.

On the stand, Daren Vaughn held back tears as he told the court how he did not mean to kill his best friend. Vaughn told jurors that Swann choked him and that he was forced to use his pocket knife on Swann.

It’s not easy telling this story at all,” Vaughn said. “I did not deliberately kill him. I love Tyrell.”

In his closing argument, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Truscott questioned why Vaughn waited until he took the stand to explain that the stabbing was a matter of self-defense.

Vaughn returned home after the stabbing to talk with his mom that night, but he “doesn’t tell his own mother that he was acting in self-defense,” Truscott said.

Detective Arrington “begged” Vaughn to explain what happened after his arrest, but at that time, Vaughn told the detective, “We fought and it escalated,” according to Truscott.

Cadman argued that Bourn was not truthful either. Contrary to her testimony, Borne told the first police officer on the scene that she came downstairs because of the noise and “found her brother in a pool of blood,” Cadman said.

Then, in an interview with detectives, Bourn says she didn’t see her brother get stabbed, Cadman said. But soon after, Bourn says she saw Vaughn swing four to five times, Cadman said.

Yet, Bourne “never tells detectives a single word about being pushed,” Cadman told jurors.

Ross Gardner, an crime scene forensic specialist, testified that Swann “had to be somewhere outside the door” at the time of the incident.

Prosecutors say that Gardner didn’t account for the rain in his analysis, but Cadman called on jurors to look critically at the testimony of mother and sister. Both women care about what people think of Swann and “want him remembered a certain way.”

Deliberation are scheduled to resume at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

blog comments powered by Disqus