• Murder suspect recalls stabbing death in court

    By: Ken Lemon


    GASTONIA, N.C. - A murder suspect sat on the stand Friday and cried as he explained why he stabbed and killed another man.
    Eyewitness News reporter Ken Lemon was in the courtroom as Steve Neely told a jury that he just lost it.
    Neely cried as he told jurors he was just trying to eat a meal at his home when his ex-wife failed to show up for the signing to sell their house.
    Neely said David Colbert, his ex-wife's husband, did show up and admitted to blocking the sale of Neely's home.
    He said Colbert tried to buy the house at a third of the price.
    Following that, Colbert badgered, threatened and called him names.

    "I lost it. I had enough. I just lost it,” Neely said in court. “I said, 'I've had enough. That's it. Strike three.  I can't take this no more.  Why don't you leave me alone?'"
    Neely said he grabbed a kitchen knife and cut Colbert
    "God forgive me but I swung it at him," Neely said.
    He chased Colbert down the street and stabbed him while neighbors watched.
    "I didn't mean to do it," Neely said.
    He said he has vague memories of eating a sandwich and reading the Bible as neighbors tried to help the dying man.
    “Every day I am faced with what happened and I live with that every day and every night and it hurts," Neely said.
    He told jurors he had never been in serious trouble before.

    “Fifty-eight years, I have lived on this earth," Neely said. "This is 60 seconds out of 58 years."
    But under cross-examination, prosecutors pointed to Neely's taped interview with police when he detailed the killing and showing little emotion.
    "You said, 'Oh my God, he is still alive,'” prosecutor Megan Rhoden said. “Do you remember saying that?"
    "I remember saying that," Neely said.
    "But you were able to stomach eating your sandwich and watching the man you just stabbed bleed out on the roadway?" Rhoden said.
    Neely said he made sure neighbors called 911 to help Colbert. He told jurors that is how he showed compassion and remorse.

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