Victim's mom testifies at stabbing trial

By Joe Gorman


The mother of a woman who was stabbed during a melee after a homicide on the South Side in June 2012 testified the defendant was there — but she did not see the defendant stab her daughter.

Deborah Truman testified Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court before Judge Maureen Sweeney that she saw Tamika Jones as she was trying to break up a fight her daughter, Victoria Truman, was in.

Deborah Truman said she remembers Jones because of a striped dress she was wearing and saw her in the crowd that was fighting just before her daughter was stabbed.

Jones faces two counts of felonious assault for the stabbing of Victoria Truman on June 13, 2012. The stabbing occurred just hours after 24-year-old Dion Weatherspoon was shot to death in his front yard on Hilton Avenue. Weatherspoon was Victoria Truman’s boyfriend.

A large crowd gathered after the shooting at the Trumans’ home, just a couple of houses up from Weatherspoon’s. A woman in the crowd picked a fight with Victoria Truman, which is when she was stabbed, prosecutors say.

Deborah Truman said Jones was not involved in the fight when it started, but she was part of the crowd of people that gathered. She said during the brawl, someone was pulling her hair, and she heard someone else say, “she’s bleeding,” and her daughter was helped to the porch and was bleeding from a stab wound to the arm.

“I looked down, and you could see her arm was wide open,” Deborah Truman testified. “Her eyes were rolling in the back of her head and she said, ‘Mommy, I can’t breathe.’” Deborah Truman said she did not see Jones stab her daughter but thinks it was Jones because the person in the dress would have been in position to do so during the fight.

A woman who lives in the neighborhood, Kerry Irwin, testified that she saw the crowd gather after Weatherspoon was shot and linger after police left. She said she saw Jones there before and after the fight but did not see the fight because she was on the phone in her house.

Testimony is expected to wrap up in the case today, and jurors may hear closing arguments. Jury selection in the case began Monday, and opening statements were given Tuesday morning.

Police arrested a man in Weatherspoon’s death. Walter Drake, 28, is expected to stand trial before Judge Sweeney in May on a charge of murder.

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