By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
The state rested its case Thursday afternoon in the trial of a 47-year-old Enid man charged last year with assault and battery with a deadly weapon.
Robert Allen Hays, also known as Rocky, was charged last year with the felony and is accused of stabbing Albert Hererra III 19 times with a folding knife May 19, 2012, during an argument.
If convicted, Hays faces 20 years to life in prison because of two prior felony convictions.
The nine-woman, three-man jury heard testimony Thursday from investigating officers, Hererra, and Hererra’s treating physician and girlfriend.
Officer Lee Frisendahl, who was the first officer to respond to a report of an assault at about 7:46 p.m. at 2206 E. Pine, said he saw a man on the lawn of the residence “covered in blood.”
Frisendahl, who also is an EMT, testified to seeing multiple stab wounds to Hererra’s body. He said officers Jason Wilson and Robert McFadden also were on scene, and cleared the residence and controlled the scene as he attended to Hererra.
Frisendahl said he was present when Hays said he was the one who stabbed Hererra, also known as A.J. He said he accompanied Hererra to the ambulance and observed more wounds.
Assistant District Attorney Irene Asai asked Frisendahl how many wounds Hererra suffered.
“The final count was 19,” he told the court.
Hays’ attorney Steve Singer asked the officer if it was true no police officer observed the attack.
“That is correct,” Frisendahl.
Singer asked if an interview was attempted with Donna Morris, Hererra’s girlfriend, or Hays’ roommate, Marry Matlock. Frisendahl said both were “extremely intoxicated.”
Hererra testified he had gone to 2206 E. Pine on May 19, 2012, because of a prior incident between him and Hays. He said he wanted to apologize that night to Matlock because of the trouble he’d caused.
He said before going by the residence, he and Morris visited a bar from about 1 to 7 p.m., where he drank about two beers.
He said the previous incident occurred after Hays called Morris a name.
“I heard Robert Hays say something to my girlfriend that upset me,” Hererra testified. “I could have sworn he cursed at her.”
He said he “clotheslined” Hays, who was sitting in a chair, knocking him to the ground.
“I got on top of him for a little while. I was just holding him down,” he said.
He said when he let Hays up, Hays went to his room and got a knife, which he then threatened him and Morris with. Hererra said for the next week Hays left threatening messages on his phone.
When he went to apologize to Matlock on May 19, 2012, he said the door was open and Matlock gave him permission to enter. He said he apologized to Matlock and Hays, shaking hands and even hugging Hays.
Hererra said Hays’ girlfriend, Alana Barber, then began a fight with his girlfriend. He said they went outside to fight and when he went to break it up Hays stabbed him.
“I felt something sting me in the stomach. I held myself and couldn’t believe the blood was coming out,” he said. “He (Hays) was standing right in front of me.”
Hererra said the rest was a blur, and the next thing he remembers is Morris being over him as he was lying on the lawn.
Singer asked Hererra if he was intoxicated May 19, 2012, and if he only drank two beers while at a bar for six hours.
Hererra said he only drank two beers that day because he was driving. When asked by Singer, Hererra also said he did not recall Hays ever asking him to leave.
“Do you deny trying to strangle him (Hays) in any shape or form?” Singer asked. “
That is correct,” Hererra said.
Dr. Valerie Jolly treated Hererra at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center following the incident.
She described in detail the wounds he suffered, including injuries to his liver and diaphragm.
“He had a very serious amount of blood loss that was life threatening,” she said.
Jolly said it was clear Hererra had consumed some alcohol but she was not able to quantify how much.
Officer Jason Wilson was second to arrive on the scene and cleared the house, along with Officer Robert McFadden. He also was responsible for taking photographs at the scene.
“There were multiple blood droplets in front of the TV heading out the front door, out to Albert Hererra,” he said.
Wilson said McFadden initially saw the knife used in the attack and he went back to seize it.
The trial resumes at 8:15 a.m. today.