The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, August 18, 2021 1:00 am

Bloody knife blade found near killing

Similar one found at suspect's apartment

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

A police crime scene technician told a jury Tuesday she found a bloody silver knife blade near the scene where a woman was fatally stabbed last year.

Christine Armstead, lead technician with the Fort Wayne Police Department, found the knife blade in the parking lot at Shoaff Park Villas near Reed and St. Joe Center roads, where Alisha Lampkin is charged with stabbing Tonisha Richardson, 25.

The knife handle, with a zip-tie wrapped around it, was on the sidewalk in front of a black Chrysler 300, Armstead testified.

Richardson had been rushed to the hospital where she died. Her boyfriend, who previously had a relationship with Lampkin, warned Richardson not to leave their apartment then went to use the restroom, according to court documents.

He left Richardson standing at the window as Lampkin knocked at the door, her boyfriend told police. When he returned, Richardson was outside and the two women were fighting.

He ran to stop the fight, but it was too late, he said. He could tell “she wasn't there,” when he saw Richardson's eyes and she started to wobble. Lampkin, 27 at the time of the stabbing, fled the scene, court records said.

Swabs for DNA testing were taken from the knife and blood on the Chrysler and parking lot before any fingerprints were taken, which is standard protocol, Armstead said.

A similar knife with a zip-tie wrapped around it was found at 1705 Wells St. where Lampkin lived with a roommate in an apartment. Armstead also went to police headquarters downtown where Lampkin was being detained after the incident.

She took photos of Lampkin and found bloody fingerprints on Lampkin's T-shirt and underwear that looked as though she'd wiped her hands off there, Armstead said.

Allen County Prosecutor Tesa Helge said a DNA analyst is scheduled to testify today. The four-day trial is expected to wrap up Thursday, according to court documents. Lampkin is charged with murder.

Richardson's parents, Vervia and Anthony Richardson, waited outside the courtroom. Space is limited in Courtroom 2 where the trial is taking place because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Both wore deep purple and black ensembles with a dash of gold, representing their daughter's favorite colors, they said.

“Red was also one of her colors,” Vervia Richardson said. “She was a beautiful spirit and soul, gone entirely too soon.”

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