New details emerge in deadly Cape Girardeau stabbing trial

Published: Jan. 24, 2012 at 11:11 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2012 at 11:24 PM CST
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Ryan P. Harkey (Source: Cape PD)
Ryan P. Harkey (Source: Cape PD)
"Buddy" Conrad (Source: Lisa Conrad)
"Buddy" Conrad (Source: Lisa Conrad)

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - New details came out in court Tuesday about a deadly Cape Girardeau stabbing.

Ryan Harkey, 23, is charged with 2nd degree murder in the killing of Jerry "Buddy" Conrad.

Police say Harkey and Conrad got into a fight inside Rumors Bar and Lounge and continued outside after the bar closed.

According to the probable cause statement, Harkey stabbed conrad three times in the chest killing him.

During court Tuesday, seven witnesses testified about what they saw that night.

About twp dozen people were present for the first court appearance of Ryan Harkey.

About 20 people on the side of victim Jerry Conrad with two people on the side of defendant Ryan Harkey.

Emotions were high with some tears.

The first witness, Cape Girardeau Policeman Eric Ralls, was questioned by the prosecutor. Ralls recalls arriving at the scene and attending to the aid of Conrad. Ralls said he saw three stab wounds on the chest of the victim. Ralls also said the victim was unresponsive, so he started CPR on him. Defense attorney Arthur Margulis asked Ralls if he had talked to the Harkey at all while he was there. Ralls replied, "No I did not."

The second witness was Dr. Russell Diediker, a forensic examiner.  Prosecutor Morley Swingle asked several questions about the wounds Dr. Diediker examined. Diediker says he saw three stab wounds to the chest and another wound to the back of the head. He said the middle stab wound in the chest was 3.5 inches deep. He said the cause of death was stab wounds to the chest. Margulis asked if slashing motions could have existed during the fight due because of other cuts located on the body. Diediker replied, yes.

The third witness was Cape Girardeau County Coroner John Clifton. Clifton said he was called to Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau to look at Conrad. He also stated he transferred Conrad to St. Francois County for examination. The defense attorney had no questions.

The fourth witness was Cape Girardeau Police officer Matthew Cotner.  He said he was one of the first on scene. He was flagged down by the bouncer of Rumors. He saw three white males surrounding Conrad on the ground. Cotner says the bouncer described what the suspect looked like and what direction he went. The bouncer also gave him a credit card belonging to Ryan Harkey and said that it belonged to the suspect. Later, Cotner secured the knife that was used and placed it in an envelope as evidence. Margulis asked how he knew about the fight in that location. Cotner replied that dispatch alerted him of it and that a white male called 911 about it.

The fifth witness was Cape Girardeau Police Evidence Technician James Ziedler.  He says he tested the knife for blood on it and the result was positive. He also said the blade measured 3.5 inches long. Ziedler also looked at Harkey's body for any injuries. He stated he did not find any.  Margulis asked if he only looked at the exposed body parts of Harkey.  Ziedler said yes.

The sixth witness was Cape Police officer David Templeton.  He found Harkey near the intersection of Independence and Lorimer.  Harkey told him he was kicked out of the bar and he returned and got jumped.  Templeton says Harkey said he was swinging the knife wildly to defend himself.  The defense attorney asked Templeton how Harkey got a block and a half away from the scene. Templeton said he didn't know.

The seventh witness was Rumors bouncer Brian Fercho who said he witnessed the fight.  He was with Harkey outside the bar closing out his tab inside. Fercho said five people came outside the bar and they all went across the street. Fercho saw the fight between Harkey and Conrad with other people about 5-7 feet away from them. He stated they exchanged blows and it all happened really fast. Margulis asked if Harkey gave him any trouble after he came back to pay his tab. Fercho said no and also that he didn't know how long the others had been drinking.

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