May 21, 2013

Defendant freed in Lewiston barbecue fork stabbing case

The Associated Press

AUBURN — A Lewiston man facing up to 30 years in prison for allegedly stabbing his friend in the chest with a barbecue fork has been freed after the victim refused to testify against him in court.

In a move that surprised the entire courtroom, Vincent Turner on Monday invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Authorities say the 42-year-old Turner was stabbed in the chest by 43-year-old Tony Leonard during a drunken brawl in October. Prosecutors say the two-pronged barbecue fork penetrated so deeply into Turner's chest that it scraped his aorta and landed him in the hospital in critical condition.

The Sun Journal reports that after testifying Monday that he and Leonard were friends, Turner clammed up.

Leonard pleaded no contest to assault and was sentenced to time served.

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