‘Are you really having a hissy fit because I stabbed you?’ Woman testifies that new roommate attacked her within weeks of moving in
photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World
A woman testified on Monday in Douglas County District Court that she and her roommate had been in a shared apartment for just a few weeks before she was stabbed in the stomach and needed emergency surgery.
The roommate, Chloe Alison Roberts, 35, of Liberty, Missouri, faces one felony count of aggravated battery, according to charging documents. The charge relates to an incident on Dec. 3, 2022, at The Rockland, 1301 W. 24th St., as the Journal-World reported. Roberts was initially deemed unfit to stand trial and was ordered to Larned State Hospital for 90 days. Earlier this month, her attorney agreed that she was competent to stand trial.
The woman testified that she had lived at The Rockland for over a year and that for most of 2022 she did not have a roommate in her two-bedroom, two-bath apartment. She said the apartments were rented by the room and the property manager was responsible for matching people with new roommates. The woman said she was not prepared for how “rude and mean” her new roommate would be.
The woman testified that Roberts moved in a week or two before Thanksgiving and that the two started to clash almost immediately. She said the two had individual bedrooms and bathrooms, but Roberts began moving her belongings, including her cat’s litter box, into the shared spaces. She said that she and Roberts argued several times about Roberts’ belongings and that The Rockland staff got involved but did not offer any solutions.
“They said they had no place to put her,” the woman said, and “management had just told us to ‘get along.'”
She said she agreed to “get along” with Roberts after the property manager told her there wasn’t another option. She also said she told management that Roberts was regularly going into her room when she wasn’t home.
“I was scared of her, so I spent as little time there as I could,” the woman testified.
One morning she woke up a little before 5 a.m. for work and realized that she had left some laundry in the apartment’s shared washing machine. She went to remove the laundry but said she found it piled up on the living room couch.
“She had dried them,” the woman said. When asked by Roberts’ attorney, Cooper Overstreet, how that made her feel, the woman replied “thankful.”
The surprise at the seemingly kind gesture quickly turned to annoyance, however, when she looked around the living room and saw that most of her belongings were missing.
“All of my stuff was gone,” the woman testified.
Having just spoken the day before with the property management about Roberts’ behavior, the woman said she wanted to confront Roberts. She said Roberts’ light was on in her bedroom, and she knocked several times before she entered.
“As soon as I opened the door, she stabbed me, instantly,” the woman said.
The woman said Roberts stabbed her just above her navel — with a small black pocket knife — without saying a word. The woman then rushed back into her own bedroom, locked herself inside and called 911.
She said Roberts then came to the woman’s bedroom door and asked, “Are you really having a hissy fit because I stabbed you?”
The woman said that she rode to the hospital in an ambulance, and a doctor told her they could put her into observation for eight to ten hours to make sure that the knife didn’t damage any organs or they could perform an emergency surgery immediately to verify that no organ was hit. The woman chose the emergency surgery, and doctors did not find any damage to her organs, she said.
The surgery lasted a few hours and she now has three scars from the incident, one from the knife and two from incisions made by doctors, she said.
When she finally went back to the apartment she discovered that her missing belongings had been placed on the outside balcony, including some food items that had been in the freezer.
Roberts was arrested at the apartment on the morning of the stabbing. She was originally booked on suspicion of attempted second-degree murder, but was formally charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm.
After the woman testified, Judge Stacey Donovan ordered Roberts to stand trial on the aggravated battery charge and scheduled a trial for March 6, 2024.
Roberts has been in custody since her arrest on a $75,000 bond, but her attorney asked the court to reduce that amount. Overstreet said that Roberts has no criminal record outside of two misdemeanor domestic battery convictions from more than 10 years ago.
Overstreet said that Roberts would be able to stay with her parents in Liberty, Missouri, and he asked the court to lower the bond to $15,000 cash or surety, which the family could afford. He said the family home would be a better environment for Roberts’ mental health than incarceration.
Senior Assistant District Attorney David Greenwald objected to any bond modification but said that if the court did grant the lower bond it should consider an own-recognizance bond, meaning that Roberts would not have to pay any money to be released from jail but may be charged that amount if she failed to appear for court.
“A bondsman won’t ensure compliance with no contact orders (with the victim) or medications. Pretrial will do a better job,” Greenwald said.
Greenwald said that Roberts would be eligible for court pretrial supervision only if she had an own-recognizance bond and that supervision would come with regular check-ins with a court officer and GPS monitoring.
Overstreet agreed to those terms, and Donovan ordered a $15,000 own-recognizance bond.