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New info: DA says self-defense in Havelock stabbing

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HAVELOCK, N.C. - There's an update on the investigation into the Havelock stabbing that killed a man.

District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that 47-year-old Donald Smith will not be charged with any crimes.

Thomas said Smith "acted in justifiable self-defense" in the stabbing of 37-year-old Ralph Edward Whitney.

The District Attorney found a "history of confrontations" between Whitney and the family, including an incident just days earlier when Smith told Whitney to stay away from his family.

--- Previous Story ---

There’s new information in last week's stabbing in Havelock that killed a man.
    
9 On Your Side has learned the man who did it, Donald Smith, recently got out of prison. He served time for 2nd-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.
    
Smith told us Friday he stabbed Ralph Whitney in self-defense, because he broke into his home and charged him. Whitney later died.
    
Havelock police confirm Smith's record and say the stabbing is still under investigation.
    
So far, Smith is not charged.

--- Previous Story ---

A Havelock man tells 9 On Your Side he stabbed an intruder in self-defense.

It happened early Thursday morning at Kelly Park Apartments off Shipman Road in Havelock. The man who broke into the apartment, Ralph Whitney, died from his injuries.

Donald Smith lives at that apartment and tells 9 On Your Side Whitney, who is the father of his granddaughter, entered his apartment without permission.

“I approached him and asked him why he was in the house, and he cursed at me and charged at me. During the tussle I grabbed a pair of scissors and I stabbed him,” said Smith.

By the time police arrived, Whitney was gone. They followed a blood trail to an apartment complex across the street and found Whitney. He later died at Vidant Medical Center.

Smith says he stabbed Whitney in self-defense.

"This was not intentionally, and I'm sorry for their loss. Ralph was like a son to me and my wife,” said Smith.

Havelock Police say they’re still investigating and have not said whether Smith will be charged. We’re told 911 tapes from the incident will be released on Monday.

--- Original Story ---
 
Havelock police are investigating a Thursday morning stabbing at the Kelly Park Apartments.

Police say at around 4 a.m. Thursday they received a 911 call from a resident at the Kelly Park Apartments reporting an intruder inside the apartment. Police discovered that the caller’s husband was involved in a confrontation with the male intruder and stabbed him. When officers arrived they found the male intruder had left the apartment, but officers located him by following a blood trail to another part of the complex. Officers found the man alive but unresponsive.

Havelock Paramedics treated and transported 37-year-old Ralph Edward Whitney to Carolina East Medical Center in New Bern, NC.  He was later transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, NC where he was treated for his injuries and later died.

Havelock Police Investigators say they have interviewed witnesses to the stabbing and have collected physical evidence and are making progress in figuring out what happened.

Police say the case is still under further investigation.  They encourage anyone with information about the stabbing in Kelly Park to call the Havelock Police Department at (252) 447-3212. 

Persons who wish to furnish information and remain anonymous may do so by calling the Police Tip Line at (252) 463-7115, or, by utilizing the Police website Tip feature by going to www.havelocknc.us, select Police, select Tips.
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