Fatal Metro Stabbing Suspect Caught on Video - NBC4 Washington

Fatal Metro Stabbing Suspect Caught on Video



    Prosecutors say a video shown in court Friday shows the man who stabbed 24-year-old Kevin Sutherland more than 30 times on a Metro train this month. Defendant Jasper Spires' lawyer says it's a case of mistaken identity. News4's Darcy Spencer reports. (Published Saturday, July 25, 2015)

    The man believed to have stabbed a 24-year-old man on board a Metro train on Independence Day is shown on video released Friday.

    The video shown in court Friday for the first time shows a man running through the NoMa-Gallaudet University Metro station after Kevin Sutherland was stabbed dozens of times, according to terrified witnesses.

    The man on the video, wearing a red bandanna and carrying a Nike backpack sprints through the station and stops at one point. Prosecutors say that man is 18-year-old Jasper Spires, who is charged with murdering Sutherland.

    The man on the video is believed to have stopped at a trash can to dump the bloody knife used to kill Sutherland, an American University graduate who interned for Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes.

    NoMa Metro Stabbing Suspect to Undergo Mental Evaluation

    [DC] NoMa Metro Stabbing Suspect to Undergo Mental Evaluation
    A judge ordered that Jasper Spires undergo a mental evaluation, after he smiled and laughed during a court hearing. He is charged with murder in a deadly July 4th stabbing on Metro.
    (Published Friday, July 24, 2015)

    The knife was found in the trashcan with Sutherland's DNA.

    Also in the video, the man can be seen dropping an item. Prosecutors say it was a pair of camouflage pants that fell from Spires' backpack.

    In court today, Spires' attorney said this was a case of mistaken identity. And a detective testified that one of the witnesses on the train had identified someone else as the suspect.

    "None of the witnesses have been able to identify him. None of the witnesses that were on the subway have identified my client as being the perpetrator," said Antoini Jones, Spires' attorney.

    The defense argued that the surveillance video shows a person wearing different clothing than Spires was pictured wearing earlier that day.

    The murder weapon was found with the victim's blood on it, but investigators have not found Spires' DNA or fingerprints on the weapon.

    A judge ruled Friday that Spires will undergo a mental evaluation. 

    During the hearing, Spires smiled, laughed and interrupted court -- prompting the judge to order the test. The results will be revealed on Aug. 28, at Spires' next hearing.

    There has been speculation that Spires was under the influence of synthetic drugs. But there was no mention of drugs in court Friday.

    The crime, which happened the afternoon of July 4, was brutal: Sutherland was stabbed 30 to 40 times, was punched and was stomped on, witnesses said.

    Court documents say one witness aboard the train saw a man attempt to take something from Sutherland's waist and that they struggled over the item before Sutherland was attacked. Another witness aboard the train said the suspect threw Sutherland's cell phone at him as he lay bleeding on the train car's floor.

    Riders said that the suspect also threatened and robbed others aboard the train. He then ran from the scene covered in blood, according to authorities.

    Spires' medical ID card was found at the scene, police say. They also say they recognized Spires from a previous arrest.

    At court on Friday, Sutherland's family said they were still trying to come to terms with their grief, but that they were prepared to forgive.

    "It's very, very hard to wrap your arms around this," said Anita McBride, Sutherland's cousin. "And to really believe that someone 24 years old on the 4th of July could be so brutally, brutally taken from this earth.

    "We all lose a little piece of ourselves when we see something so brutal like this," McBride said. "For the defendant's family, too."

    The victim had interned for Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) in 2008 and 2010. Himes said Friday that he's spent some time with Sutherland's parents since his death.

    "Kevin was an only child; you don't even want to imagine what that feels like to parents," Himes said, calling Sutherland's parents "strong beyond belief."

    Himes also blasted presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for comments he made after Sutherland's death.

    "He said it was liberal policies that caused the death of Kevin Sutherland," Himes said. "No, it was a deranged individual. Deranged or drugged, we don't know.

    "Whether you agree or disagree with liberals, that's who Kevin was and who his parents were."