Continuous News

Jul 10, 2012 11:24 AM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News

Helena stabbing suspect claims self-defense

Luis Enrique Zayas, a 27 year old Helena man, is being held in jail on a charge of attempted deliberate homicide after allegedly stabbing a man over the weekend.

Zayas appeared in Justice Court on Monday afternoon via video conferencing.

Court documents state that Zayas confessed to stabbing Cole Whitegrass in self defense on Saturday night.

Zayas' bond was set at $250,000.

If convicted he faces 10 to 100 years in prison, and/or fines up to $50,000.

The stabbing happened at around 11 pm on Saturday on Jackson Street.

Helena Police Chief Troy McGee says when officers arrived at the scene, Whitegrass was stumbling in the road with multiple stab wounds.

Officers encountered Zayas running from the scene.

Zayas was arrested and charged with attempted deliberate homicide.

Whitegrass suffered stab wounds to his chest, back and face.

He is in the critical care unit in serious condition at Benefis h in Great Falls.

Court documents state that Zayas changed his story a few times but in one instance he said Whitegrass was sent to kill him and he took the knife and defended himself.

Chief McGee said, "We are looking for the weapon, the knife. We believe it's still in the area somewhere. If anyone encounters a knife in that general area, especially if it has blood on it, call us right away. Just leave it alone and call us immediately."

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Helena Crimestoppers at 406-443-2000.

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