Soldier Charged in Stabbing says it was in Self-Defense

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Johnny Ramsey talks about his brother's problematic past, after police said in court that Bobby Ramsey started the scuffle that ultimately led to his death.

"He had been in and out of trouble, it's the truth. He had been to prison for a long period of time, and just could never get it together because of drugs," said Ramsey.

Detectives say Justin Scribner, a Army Reservist temporarily stationed at Fort Benning, was staying with some fellow soldiers at the Howard Johnson hotel on Veteran's Parkway Friday night.

According to hotel workers, Ramsey was a regular there, often begging for handouts from guests.

Earlier in the day, police say Ramsey solicited Scribner and his friends for money and cigarettes.

It happened again around 3 AM Saturday, when the soldier was returning from a bar.

This time, Ramsey was offering to introduce him to a woman, and police say Scribner agreed.

The pair walked a couple of blocks, but once they reached E&S Mattress Discounters, the soldier says Ramsey attacked him.

According to his testimony to police, Scribner went into survival mode, pulling out a pocket knife and stabbing Ramsey in the chest before running off.

No witnesses can vouch for Scribner's story, but Ramsey's brother says it's possible the soldier is telling the truth.

When asked if charges should be dropped, it brought mixed emotions.

"It's hard to say when you got family like this...but if he was trying to defend himself, then that's what he's supposed to have done," said Ramsey.

Even with all the evidence presented in the case, detectives are still charging Scribner with murder.

They say after the stabbing, he did not alert police, and went back to his barracks on Fort Benning.

It was there that he was arrested by military police on Saturday, and investigators say a bloody shirt was found in his room.

The judge agreed with police and bound his case over to Superior Court.

It is now up to the District Attorney and a Grand Jury to indict him.

Until then, he is being held without bond in the Muscogee County Jail.