Two defendants involved in a Monday afternoon fatal stabbing were arraigned Wednesday before Judge Brad Davidson in Cocke County General Sessions Court.
Trent Thomas Balson, 25, Hemlock Circle, Morristown, is charged with the voluntary manslaughter of Winnifred Marvin Cas Walker, 23, Walker Road, Newport.
Chelsea Sutton, 23, Sycamore Way, Newport, is charged with accessory after the fact of voluntary manslaughter.
Deputy Zach Shelton said he arrived at a residence on New Cave Church Road in Newport to be told by First Call EMS personnel Walker had died at the scene. The victim reportedly had a stab wound to the head, however, the warrant in the case alleges he had been stabbed at least three times with a sharp instrument.
The resident of the home, Paige McGaha, said the victim had come to her home to work on her vehicle, and Balson and Sutton were there also. McGaha said she was inside the home talking to Sutton when she heard Balson call for Sutton saying, “Chelsea we got to go right now.” When she went outside, McGaha said she saw Balson beside the car holding a large black kitchen knife.
The witness said she then began looking for Walker and she heard him say, “Help me,” before 911 was called.
Balson and Sutton fled to a home in White Pine but refused to surrender to law enforcement. They were taken into custody at 4:30 a.m., Tuesday after a SWAT team fired tear gas into the residence. Balson told investigators he stabbed Walker in self-defense
Sutton is charged because investigators allege she assisted Balson to elude arrest.
During the arraignment hearing, Davidson asked both defendants if they have jobs. Both said they were unemployed but looking for jobs at the time of the incident.
Assistant public defender Keith Haas was appointed to represent Balson and attorney Ryan Logue will represent Sutton.
Investigators have not revealed the alleged issues that led to the homicide.
Assistant district attorney Brownlow Marsh, asked if drugs were involved in the altercation, said, “There are allegations that drugs were involved, but I have no evidence that drugs were found at the scene.”