Haynes claims self-defense in murder trial - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Haynes claims self-defense in murder trial

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – Tuesday, a Lawton man accused of murdering his wife took the stand to tell jurors he feared for his life.

Herbert Haynes is charged in the 2014 stabbing death of Irene Haynes at a Lawton motel. Haynes admitted to killing his wife but says he only did it out of self-defense.

On the stand Tuesday, Haynes said he and Irene smoked crack on a regular basis and, that night, Irene had smoked and an altercation between the two broke out. Haynes said Irene cornered him with a knife so he grabbed one too and swung at her several times.

Haynes said he and Irene had several altercations in the past and that Irene had stabbed him before, but in cross-examination, the state pointed out an incident in 2011 where Haynes had been arrested for stabbing Irene.

At the conclusion of his testimony, he said he loved his wife and apologized to her family who was in the courtroom today. In cross-examination, the state asked what day Haynes had married Irene and he said he did not remember the date but stated again that he loved his wife.

Haynes said on the day of Irene’s death, he did not have any crack in his system, despite the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation tests saying he did. He told the state he thought he knew more about crack than the OSBI experts because of how much he had smoked in his life.

The state then questioned why, after the murder, Haynes called his cousin before calling 911. He said he was panicked after it happened and did not know how to react. Haynes said he held his wife for several minutes after her death but said he did not check for a pulse and did not have a reason why.

Haynes also admitted to washing his hands and the knife that killed Irene after the murder but said he was not sure why he did that either.

The state then questioned Haynes about differences between his story and what the physical evidence showed, like Haynes saying Irene was still holding the knife at the end of their fight. The medical examiner testified today that her injuries to her hands would have made that impossible. The coroner also testified that Irene had several stab wounds on her head and hands, but that a large gash on her neck was what ultimately killed her.  Haynes said it all happened fast and he did not remember everything, but that he knew she was still holding the knife.

Because Haynes agreed to testify, his previous 9 felony convictions were introduced to the jury. In court Tuesday, he said he pleaded guilty in each of those cases, but went to trial for this one because he knew he was innocent. Closing arguments are expected to begin Wednesday before a jury decides Haynes's fate.

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