EUREKA- The suspect accused of killing a 24-year-old Trinidad man with a pocket knife sat in court Tuesday morning. The lead detective for the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office took the stand on the first day of the preliminary hearing that revealed the details of the fatal stabbing.
Larry Clinton Morrow, 33, plead not guilty previously in court to stabbing Jessie Ruiz at the Greenview RV Park on the morning of Jan. 10.
In court, Detective Jennifer Turner of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office gave her account of interviews with witnesses at the scene of the incident and details of the interview with Morrow before his arrest.
According to witnesses Morrow had seen Ruiz earlier that night hanging out of a truck encouraging people in the RV park to fight him. Morrow told detectives he had met Ruiz months before and had known him to carry a knife for protection.
In Turner's testimony she said the two had started the evening in separate RVs. According to multiple witnesses Ruiz had been drinking at one RV residents house when he was asked to leave for being 'belligerently' drunk and eventually left.
During the time Ruiz was gone Morrow came to hang out at the same RV. Morrow claimed in the interview that he was consoling the resident who had lost her dog and was upset after Ruiz left.
According to Morrow's interviews with witnesses, Ruiz started to knock on the door of the RV saying he had left his coat there. Morrow told Ruiz to leave and the two began arguing through the closed door. The resident of the RV opened the door to leave when the two got into a fight that resulted in Ruiz being stabbed.
The defense argued that Morrow was attempting to protect the resident of the RV and claimed Morrow was fearful of Ruiz.
Detective Turner will continue her testimony Wednesday for the second day of the preliminary hearing.