Craig man turns himself in on arrest warrant for attempted murder in the 2nd degree
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to remove the name of the victim at his request.
Justin Christopher Smith, 31, of Craig, was booked into the Moffat County Jail Monday after turning himself in on charges of attempted murder in the second degree. This comes after the submission of an arrest warrant earlier this month that stated police believed they had probable cause that he committed the alleged attack.
Smith is alleged to have stabbed a male victim who requested not to be named at around midnight the morning of July 20, causing injuries that involved, per an arrest affidavit, “a substantial risk of death,” and “a substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement,” as well as, “a substantial risk of protracted loss or impairment of function of any part or organ of the body specifically intestines.”
According to the affidavit filed and signed by Craig Police Officer Daron Hashir, the victim was initially contacted in the Emergency Department of Memorial Regional Hospital about 1:30 a.m. July 20. Shortly after, he was flown to Grand Junction. After surgery, the victim eventually survived the stabbing, which he and two witnesses claimed was the result of an attack by an apparently drug-addled Smith.
Statements from witnesses, including the victim, indicate the victim and a pair of friends left the Popular Bar in Craig either late the night of July 19 or very early the morning of July 20. They went to a woman’s house nearby whom the victim, statements read, considers a niece, to get water. The woman was not home, according to testimonies, but Smith was, as the trio discovered after entering the house following a knock at the door.
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Smith, per the statements, was found in the house “trippin’,” by the victim’s account. A statement by a witness more familiar with the accused said, “Justin didn’t look like the Justin that he knew, and he appeared ‘strung out’ and ‘freaked out.’”
Smith pointed a loaded gun at the victim, who entered the house first, the victim and witnesses claim. The victim allegedly took the gun from Smith and unloaded it. Some time thereafter, Smith is alleged to have attacked the victim with what witnesses described as a small knife, possibly a pocket knife.
The victim was stabbed in the torso at least three times, per the report. He was taken to the Craig Loaf ‘n’ Jug, where an individual he describes as a “brother” in statements took him the rest of the way to the hospital.
The victim identified Smith as his assailant in an interview with police the morning of the attack. Witnesses did not know why the victim was attacked, but it seems clear from statements that they believed the attacker to be in an altered state of mind, possibly due to drugs.
Booking sheets show Smith booked into Moffat County Jail Monday evening. He’s scheduled to undergo a hearing on advisement Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in Moffat County Combined Court.
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