ELKHART — An Elkhart woman is accused of killing her husband by stabbing him once in the chest during a night of drinking, while their children were upstairs watching TV.
Knesha Carruthers, 33, is charged with murder in the death of 33-year-old Jimmie Gillam. She was arrested after police responded to a residence in the 300 block of West Jefferson Street around 5:30 a.m. Saturday.
Gillam was found at the bottom of the front steps with a single, six inch-long stab wound to the chest. He later died at Elkhart General Hospital from what doctors described as a severed aorta.
Police arrested Carruthers after witnesses said she and Gillam were drinking on their back porch, and she tried to provoke a confrontation by threatening to sleep with all of his friends. When that didn't draw a response from Gillam, Carruthers allegedly went into the kitchen, came back with a knife and stabbed him in the chest.
She then locked him out of the house.
Carruthers was booked in the Elkhart County Correctional Facility without bond. Charges are expected to be filed Wednesday and her initial court hearing is set for Thursday, according to the Elkhart County Prosecutor's office.
According to court documents in support of her arrest:
Officers arrived at the home and found Gillam gravely injured. They followed directions from witnesses as well as blood spatter toward the back entrance of the residence.
The blood appeared to originate from inside the locked back porch. Fearing that there may be other victims, officers forced open the door.
They found more blood spatter on the floor of the enclosed back porch. They searched the home and found three children but no other victims.
Witnesses told officers that Gillam and Carruthers were drinking alcohol on the back porch when Carruthers tried to provoke a fight. The two exchanged slaps before she went inside and came back with the knife and stabbed him.
Another witness indicated that he came down the alleyway to check on Gillam and saw him come out of the house, fall down and they called 911. He said he also saw Gillam's wife come out crying.
One of the children described Carruthers drinking and said she asked for a change of clothes after urinating in her pants. Gillam then asked the child to make Carruthers some food and Carruthers asked the child to put her hair in a bun, before they sent the child back upstairs to watch TV.
The child said they could heard Carruthers and Gillam arguing. It eventually stopped and then police arrived.
No 911 call
Carruthers told police that she arrived home at around 10:30 p.m. Friday to find Gillam and some of his friends drinking. She said she joined in, and consumed a mixed drink with about a pint of vodka in it over the course of the night.
She said Gillam punched her in the back of the head at one point, and she went into the kitchen and got a knife. She said he came toward her and she stabbed him.
Carruthers said Gillam then left the house. She didn't call 911 and didn't know who did call, nor did she remember where she left the knife.
Members of the Elkhart County Homicide Unit searched the house later in the afternoon Saturday. In addition to finding blood spatter in multiple places, they found a knife in a plastic container in the laundry room.
It matched the description Carruthers gave, and was the same brand and appearance as the ones that were still in the knife block in the kitchen.