Murder trial begins in college athlete's death - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Murder trial begins in college athlete's death

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The murder trial of Austin's Kaitlyn Ritcherson began Tuesday. She's accused in the stabbing death of Fatima Berrie back in December 2011.

This all happened outside a nightclub on 5th Street and Lavaca around 2 a.m. on December 4, 2011. 

The two women didn't know each other but became the center of an altercation that was going on outside the clubs front door.

Ritcherson with family members made their way into court Tuesday, some 16 months since being accused of stabbing then 21-year-old Huston–Tillotson student athlete Fatima Berrie.

Conflicting witness reports said Ritcherson never had a knife, but the defense did admit during testimony. She did have a knife in her purse it was used earlier in the evening to cut hair extensions.

The defense is also trying to prove it was Berrie who incited the altercation by running at Ritcherson outside Republic Live and hitting her with a cellphone.

The prosecution wants to prove Ritcherson produced a knife and stabbed Berrie in the chest, which led to her death several days later.

Ritcherson did go to the hospital sometime after the stabbing to take stitches for a stab wound to her thigh.

APD was called when blood was found on her clothing. She was then arrested and that leads this case to the defense trying to put all the pieces together and keeping Ritcherson a free woman.

"It's a very complicated with the number of parties, the situation was very chaotic. The circumstances of the situation itself, it was dark, it was rainy and it's a complicated story that is not easy to tell," said Ritcherson's Attorney, Charlie Baird.

"What do you hope to prove when this case is all said and done?" FOX 7's Greg Kerr asked.

"Well we don't have to prove anything, we think that the State is not going to be able to prove and will in fact not be to establish that Miss Ritcherson committed the crime at all... certainly if she engaged in any kind of conduct that would otherwise be criminal, it was certainly justified by resorting to self-defense in this particular case," Baird replied.

Baird went on to say that he expects this case to go into at least early next week.

As far as Miss Ritcherson goes, she sat in the courtroom not showing much emotion during testimony. But outside the courtroom she was crying with family members.

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