Stabbing incidents end with convictions, probation

By Laura Browne - Special to The News

Surry County Courthouse

Terri Flagg | The News

DOBSON — Two older stabbing cases have been concluded following the guilty plea of each of those convicted.

In the first case, a Mount Airy man pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge Tuesday in connection with an incident more than two years ago that sent a man to the hospital.

David Howard Childress III, 22, of Evans Street in Mount Airy, was originally charged for assault with a deadly weapon. Through a plea agreement, the charge against Childress was reduced to simple assault to which he pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday.

According to statements made by Assistant District Attorney Mark Miller in court, the crime was committed on Dec. 23, 2014, as an attempt to settle a longtime dispute between Childress and victim, Ethan Davis.

The argument, largely based on possible interactions Davis may have had with Childress’s wife, had been ongoing and had manifested itself through text and online messages, Miller said.

Eventually, the argument became physical, and a fight broke out on Cave Road in Dobson leading to Davis suffering a single stab wound to the back.

The three versions of the occurrence varied.

In one version, Davis claimed that during the fight, when he got the upper hand, Childress pulled a knife. Davis told authorities he then called over his friend who was present to assist breaking up the fight.

According to Childress, after the fight began, he began to dominate Davis in the struggle, who called over a friend for help.

Childress claimed to have been unaware of the other individual’s presence before the altercation began.

Childress says that in order to defend himself against Davis and the third party, he stabbed the former.

The friend of Davis who was present for the fight also made a statement, though what he said was later proved false, and he refused to provide additional information thereafter.

Following the fight, Davis was sent to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where he was treated with stitches and released.

Childress reported voluntarily to the Surry County Sheriff’s Office and was accompanied by his wife, who corroborated his version of events.

Miller said because of the conflicting stories pertaining to the crime, the district attorney’s office found the plea agreement appropriate.

Childress’s attorney, David Erdmann, asked that his client receive unsupervised probation for his crime on the grounds that Childress serves in the military and must travel often and handle firearms.

The defendant was given a suspended sentence of 30 days in jail pending the successful completion of 12 months of unsupervised probation.

He was also ordered not to have any contact with the victim and to pay $811.30 immediately in restitution for ambulance transportation fees and then remaining court costs and fines within 90 days.

Elkin man convicted in unrelated stabbing

In the second stabbing case disposed this term, William Dale Southern, 44, of Zephyr Road, Elkin, also pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of simple assault.

He additionally faced charges of simple possession of marijuana and driving with a revoked license. Following a plea bargain, all charges except for the simple assault were dropped.

According to Prosecutor Mike Beal, Southern was convicted of stabbing a male victim during a fight which led to the charge of felony assault with a deadly weapon causing serious injury.

In court on Wednesday, Southern pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of simple assault.

He was then given a suspended sentence of 60 days in accordance with 18 months of successful unsupervised probation.

Southern appeared in court prepared to pay $862.25 in restitution in addition to court fines and fees.

Beal assured the court that the victim was comfortable with the plea agreement.

Surry County Courthouse County Courthouse Terri Flagg | The News

By Laura Browne

Special to The News

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