News4's Tracee Wilkins has the latest on the murder trial that resulted in a not guilty verdict for Alexis Simpson, accused of murdering Dominique Frazier in their Bowie State dorm.
A jury found former Bowie State student Alexis Simpson not guilty on all seven counts in the fatal stabbing of her roommate Dominique Frazier in September 2011.
The jury got the case Thursday afternoon and had a verdict in about three hours.
Simpson left the court house in Prince George's County without speaking to the media, but her attorney spoke on her behalf.
"This is a self-defense case," said defense attorney Christopher Griffiths. "Alexis, in my mind, there is no question, acted in self defense. We are very gratified by the verdict."
Prosecutor Tara Jackson said the jury did its job. "We did the very best we knew how to do -- we presented the evidence as it was, and the jury gave us their verdict."
Simpson, 20, took the stand in her own defense Thursday morning. On Sept. 15, students were preparing for a homecoming comedy show when Simpson and Frazier got into an altercation over loud music playing from the victim’s iPod.
It would be the last in a series of disagreements the two had had that semester.
“She (Dominique) slammed the door and hit me in my face with the door pretty hard … It caused my head to jerk," Simpson testified. "She opened her door and stepped out … She said 'What’s up?' and started to swing. She uppercut me while holding my hair.”
Other witnesses testified that Simpson was the one to throw the first punch. After that initial fight, Simpson went to her room looking for her inhaler, she said.
Her attorney asked: "Did you take anything else out of your room?"
Simpson replied: "Yes, a knife ... It was a pocket knife."
Simpson described the moments leading up to the actual stabbing.
“Kiaira (Johnson, the victim’s friend) began to attack, pulling me by my hair, and I was scared," she testified, sometimes crying. "I did not know what they were going to do next. They continued to hit me, so I swung the knife … Then Dominique stopped swinging and grabbed her neck and blood was coming out, and I just wanted to help her.”
Simpson said she tried to call 911 and when the call didn’t go through, she followed Dominique as she stumbled to the hallway
“I laid down next to her and put my hand on her neck so blood wouldn’t come out," Simpson said. "I started to panic... There was foam coming out of her mouth… I didn’t know what to do.”
During cross examination Wednesday -- Day 2 of Simpson’s trial -- the state’s first witness, Frazier’s friend Kiaira Johnson, described what she saw when the stabbing happened.
“I didn’t even see the knife, but when Dominique hit her, the girl had the knife in her hand,” Johnson said. “I don’t think she meant to cut Dominique, but it just happened.”
Simpson and Frazier stopped getting along soon after the beginning of the school year.
In opening statements Tuesday, the attorney for the defense said Simpson told dorm management, “They are threatening me, and I’m afraid they are going to jump me … I just want to change rooms.” That request was denied.