My Statement
by James Stamper

On Saturday, January 30, 1999, at around 1:00am I was at a friend's house visiting, and my wife (Tracy Stamper) called home to see how her daughter (Jaley) was doing.

She was told that Dave Hutchens was there, trying to get the kids to drink whiskey.  Jaley was afraid of him because of his drunken behavior.  Our children were 15 and 16 at the time.  We went home and the girls said that Hutchens had left with Todd Runion to get more beer.

About half an hour later there was a lot of loud noise downstairs, and when I went to investigate,   Dave and Todd were drunk, loud and abusive.  Between them, they had finished a fifth of Black Velvet and were quite intoxicated.  We went into the kitchen where Dave offerred me a beer, and I declined.  I had told him before that he wasn't to bring any alcohol into my house.

It was getting late, my sister came home from work (Tracy Rister), she peered into the kitchen and said she was going to bed.  Ryan and his girlfriend were laying on the couch and asked Tracy to take them home, which she did, and returned.  Dave didn't hear her say that she was back because he was so wasted, and took offense because everyone else heard her.

Dave went upstairs yelling, where Tracy was sleeping, accusing her of lying and using abusive language.  Eventually we all went upstairs to prevent a fight or keep Dave from hitting my sister, and Todd challenged Dave to a fight.  We went outside and Todd and Dave started pushing each other around, Todd shoved Dave back and he fell onto some bicycles that were against the house.

I told them to quit fighting, Dave charged me, and pushed me backwards on the steps.  I got back up, turned around and hit Dave with my fist.  I told him I didn't want to fight, he came at me again, and I hit him again.  I only hit him twice.

I never told Detective Latham that I hit him 5 or 6 times, and my sister never read the statement he wrote to me out loud.  I didn't know what he had written on the statement that I signed.  Latham noticed that my wrist was bruised and tried to make it look like I got that from the severe beating I gave to Dave, when in fact it was from falling back on the steps.

I never wanted to hurt anyone to begin with, but Dave was getting out of control and I just wanted it to stop.  There is no way I caused his eye that much damage.  The sever injury that Dave Hutchens sufferred happened at a fight he was involved in after he left my house.  He told the hospital that he was kicked in the eye, which is probably what happened, and I certainly didn't do it.

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