Man Accused of Stabbing Ex-girlfriend 16 times Claims it Was Unknown Man
By Trish Mehaffey, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Shaheed Pendleton took the stand Friday in his attempted murder trial and denied stabbing his ex-girlfriend Racquel Truax 16 times in 2011.
Pendleton, 33, of Cedar Rapids, told a different version of what happened Oct. 14, 2011 than what Truax told the jury on Thursday. The only thing he agreed with her on was that they both had been drinking, and taking ecstasy and using cocaine.
Pendleton said an unknown man stabbed him and Truax that day. The man punched him and he fell to the floor and "froze" when the man turned on Truax and attacked her.
Pendleton is charged with attempted murder, willful injury causing serious injury and assault to inflict serious injury (domestic assault). He is accused of stabbing Truax in their home during an argument while both were drinking and using drugs Oct. 14, 2011. Truax, who almost died, was stabbed 16 times in her head, chest, abdomen, both sides, arms and back. Pendleton had three cuts to his chest.
Truax said Thursday she had no doubt that Pendleton stabbed her that day.
The prosecution rested Thursday and the defense started Friday. Closing arguments are expected Monday.
There were some delays Friday during the defense's case regarding witnesses and the state's possible rebuttal witnesses. Pendleton was the last witness of the day.
Pendleton said he and Truax, who broke up nearly a year before the stabbing but still lived together, were on good terms and still had an intimate relationship. He said they never argued that night and he wasn't jealous of her talking to two other men, as Truax and another woman testified.
Pendleton said after they partied and "hung out" the night before and the next day, he took a nap and awoke to Truax arguing with someone downstairs. She was cursing at the unknown man and Truax told him she wanted the other man to leave.
Pendleton said this is when the man punched him in the left eye and fell to the floor. The man continued to punch and kick him and Truax yelled at the man to get off Pendleton. The man then pulled out a out a knife with a 4- or 5-inch silver blade and cut Pendleton on his chest.
Pendleton said he froze and just laid on the floor.
"I was wishing it was a dream and it would go away," Pendleton said.
Truax then hit the man in the face and then he stabbed her multiple times, Pendleton said. Truax seemed like she was in shock.
Pendleton said the man ran out the side door of the house when the door upstairs opened. His cousin, Robert Cole, came downstairs and Pendleton told him to call 911.
He said Truax was walking around in circles and he told her he would catch the man. Pendleton then ran outside to see if he could find him. When he came back, Truax was lying down in the screened in porch area.
Assistant Linn County Attorney Nic Scott asked on cross examination if he remembered telling police he knew who assaulted them.
Pendleton admitted he lied. He was being a "smart aleck." He didn't trust the police.
"You were upset about Racquel but you were stonewalling police?"
Pendleton said yes.
Scott asked if he told Brent Lamp and Chris Grover that he stabbed Truax and then stabbed himself to cover it up.
Pendleton denied the confession.
Lamp and Grover are federal inmates who were in jail with Pendleton and sent letters to the Linn County Attorney's Office two or three months ago, stating Pendleton had confessed the crime to them.
Scott asked if he had several folding or pocket knives.
Pendleton said he had two – one with a black handle and silver blade and the other with a black handle and black blade. He explained he left them at his father's in Atlanta before the stabbing happened.
Pendleton also said Lavonne Smith wasn't in the house during the stabbing as she testified on Thursday.