EVANSVILLE — An Evansville woman who is alleged to have stabbed her boyfriend during an altercation Friday will make her initial appearance in a Vanderburgh County courtroom Tuesday afternoon.
The woman, identified by police as 53-year-old Tamara Starks, allegedly stabbed her boyfriend despite officers instructing the couple to “separate from each other” about 30 minutes before the attack.
Evansville police arrested Starks on Friday night and detained her at the Vanderburgh County jail on a 72-hour hold, though she would later post a $5,000 bond.
A judge found probable cause to preliminarily charge Starks with two offenses: battery committed with a deadly weapon a Level 4 felony, and domestic battery in the presence of a minor, a Level 6 felony.
Evansville Police Department Detective Rodney Culver, writing in Stark’s arrest affidavit, said he and other officers were dispatched to 2200 Harding Ave. at 8:41 p.m. Friday in response to an “assault in progress.”
Upon their arrival, officers discovered a bleeding man who appeared to have suffered multiple stab wounds — including some to his head and back. According to Culver, the man promptly pointed to Stark, his girlfriend, and claimed she stabbed him.
Paramedics treated the man, who did not require immediate hospitalization, at the scene.
Stabbing capped night of arguing, police say
When officers found Starks’ injured boyfriend, it was the second time police had been called to the home Friday evening.
“(During) an earlier incident at the same address, approximately 30 minutes prior, both subjects had been arguing over car keys,” Culver wrote. “Before I left, I recommended to both subjects to separate from each other for the night.”
Culver did not describe the earlier altercation in detail.
After that initial visit by police, Starks reportedly left on foot and waited for a ride at the intersection of Harding and Wedeking Avenues. The victim, who still could not locate his missing car key, waited outside for a period of time before returning to the residence with a friend.
Culver said the victim locked the door behind him, fearful Starks would return.
Within minutes, Starks did, according to eyewitness testimony cited by the police. Starks first attempted to enter the residence through the front door but was held back by her boyfriend, who was uninjured at the time.
Starks would eventually make her way inside, according to Culver. Starks reportedly grew enraged when she observed her boyfriend searching her purse for the missing car key. That’s when the situation escalated.
“Stark went into the residence, grabbed a large kitchen knife and started stabbing (the victim) while in their living room,” Culver wrote. (The victim) then ran outside to get away from Starks.”
But, according to investigators, Starks followed her boyfriend outside, where she allegedly drove the kitchen knife into his back multiple times.
Both Starks’ boyfriend and the eyewitness confirmed that Starks wielded a butcher-style knife with a black handle and ornate blade during the attacks. In all, the victim incurred at least five stab wounds, though the police said he avoided serious injury.
Stark is also alleged to have assaulted a family member who witnessed the stabbing when she threw a handheld tablet at their head. Officers interviewed the witnesses and detained Starks for questioning, Culver said
Police: Starks’ story doesn’t add up
At first, Starks reportedly claimed she acted in self-defense, her arrest affidavit states. Starks’ boyfriend punched her in the face with a closed fist after she discovered him holding her credit card, she reportedly told detectives.
But Culver said he could find little evidence to corroborate Starks’ claim: “I observed no injuries on Starks consistent to her story,” he wrote.
According to Starks’ version of events, she and her boyfriend eventually took the altercation outside and wrested before she walked away and waited for a family member to pick her up.
However, detectives claimed Starks could offer no rational explanation as to how her boyfriend incurred stab wounds throughout his head, neck and back.
“Starks stated she didn’t know why (her boyfriend) was bleeding or where his wounds came from,” Culver wrote. “Starks then stated (her boyfriend’s) wounds were already on him prior to the altercation… Then she told officers (his) wounds came from the garage. Starks’ story changed throughout the interview and was inconsistent.”
After Culver read Starks her rights under state and federal law, Starks reportedly signed documents granting investigators permission to search the Harding Avenue residence.
In the living room, an officer said he found a large kitchen knife with a black handle and distinctive markings on the plate, just as the victim and eyewitness described. Starks was then transported to the Vanderburgh County jail.
Starks is scheduled to appear in Vanderburgh County Circuit Court for her initial hearing at 1 p.m.
Houston Harwood can be contacted at courierpress.com with questions, comments and news tips.
This article originally appeared on Evansville Courier & Press: Police: Woman stabbed boyfriend after being told to ‘separate’
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