Violence Disrupts Holidays

BLYTHEWOOD – The holidays were marred with a pair of domestic incidents that turned violent last week, sending two men to the hospital and leading to the arrest of two local women.

Krysta James, 34, of 124 Twin Pond Road, was arrested Christmas day and charged with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said, after she stabbed her finance with a pair of kitchen knives. According to the incident report, James and the victim, a 40-year-old male whose name was, contrary to state open records laws, redacted from the report, became embroiled in an argument in their home at approximately 8:30 p.m. over the color scheme for their wedding. As the argument escalated, the report states, the victim attempted to leave the home. As he was leaving, James reportedly stabbed him in the back. A witness at the scene intervened, the report states, preventing James from inflicting further injuries.

According to the report, James admitted to stabbing the victim, but told deputies she did so only after the victim had struck her in the head with a bottle.

The witness, whose name was also, contrary to state laws, redacted from the report, drove the victim to Providence Northeast Hospital. From there, the victim was transported by EMS to Palmetto Richland where he was treated for two stab wounds. Details of the wounds were also inexplicably redacted from the report, however poorly. A close examination of the report reveals the victim suffered one 4-centimeter cut to the right shoulder and one 3-centimeter cut to the upper right back.

Phone calls to Capt. Chris Cowan of the department’s Office of Public Information and Media Relations to explain the department’s redaction policy were not returned at press time.

A second incident on Dec. 27 sent a 44-year-old man to Palmetto Richland with a gunshot wound to the leg. According to the report, deputies arrived at 1420 Loner Road at 12:35 a.m. and found the victim, whose name was redacted from the report, lying on the bedroom floor, unresponsive and bleeding from a wound to the upper right thigh. Next to the victim, pressing a towel to the wound, was the victim’s wife, 51-year-old Bernice Letsinger.

The complainant, a 19-year-old female (name redacted) listed as the couple’s daughter, told deputies she had been in her bedroom when she heard the shot. When she came out, the report states, she found her mother in a panic and her father lying on the floor bleeding. According to the report, Letsinger said she had placed the handgun under her pillow earlier in the evening because the victim had been making verbal threats to her. Letsinger claimed she was afraid, the report states, “because of past incidents where the victim had put hands on her.” Letsinger was arrested and charged with attempted murder, the Sheriff’s Department said.

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