Attorney in downtown Lawrence stabbing case says he might argue self-defense

An attorney for a Fort Leavenworth soldier charged in a downtown Lawrence stabbing says self-defense could come into play in the case.

During a hearing Monday for 19-year-old Christopher J. McCallum, defense attorney James Rumsey said video from the 600 block of Massachusetts Street would show the alleged stabbing victim in the case throwing a person onto the hood of a car.

Rumsey’s statements came as he asked District Judge Sally Pokorny to lower McCallum’s $100,000 bond.

Douglas County prosecutors last week charged McCallum with one count of aggravated battery after a 20-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man was stabbed during a fight early Dec. 5 outside Liberty Hall, 644 Mass.

Rumsey said that according to the law enforcement affidavit, a fight started inside Liberty Hall, where McCallum and some friends had attended an event. Once the people involved in the fight were removed from inside, the fight resumed.

The defense attorney said video would show the alleged victim in the case throwing McCallum’s friend — another Fort Leavenworth soldier — onto a car and two other men “pounding on this guy after he was thrown on the hood.”

“It wasn’t a situation where (the alleged victim) was an innocent bystander,” Rumsey said in court Monday afternoon. “And he’s probably committing an aggravated battery on my client’s friend, which brings up some potential elements of self-defense.”

Police had broken up the fight outside Liberty Hall, but they were called later to Lawrence Memorial Hospital where the Kansas City, Kan., man went, suffering from stab wounds. He was later transferred to a Kansas City-area hospital and released several days later.

Greg Benefiel, an assistant district attorney, said the stabbing victim indicated in the affidavit that he was jumped upon leaving Liberty Hall, which caused him to throw a man onto the hood of a car.

Pokorny did not rule on Rumsey’s motion for a lower bond, but she said she would consider it again after the Jan. 10 preliminary hearing in the case.

Rumsey said that the Army would still detain McCallum at Fort Leavenworth if he posts bond here but that his client preferred to be in custody there instead of Douglas County Jail.