New murder trial starts for Kaitlyn Ritcherson

New murder trial starts for Kaitlyn Ritcherson

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Jurors heard opening statements in the new murder trial for Kaitlyn Ritcherson. She's charged with the stabbing death of Huston Tillotson track star Fatima Barrie.

Ritcherson's original trial ended five months ago with the judge declaring a mistrial. The jury couldn't reach a decision. Now both sides are back in the courtroom to try this case again.

On December 4, 2011 there was a fight outside a downtown club. Police rushed to the scene and found Barrie with a stab wound to her chest. She was rushed to UMC Brackenridge. After 17 days in the hospital she died.

During opening statements prosecutor Meg McGee told jurors that Barrie and a friend were celebrating the end of the fall semester. They went to a show at Republic Live and when they came outside there was a fight. Ritcherson's attorney, Amber Farraley, told the jury Kaitlyn went to pick up a friend who had been out that night.

Dozens of people were outside the club shortly after the venue closed. Police say there was some sort of fight.

Attorneys on both sides told the jury they will call witnesses who were there that night with both girls.

Farraley told the jury they would hear from witnesses who would testify that Barrie lunged at Ritcherson not once or twice but three times.

"That moment she reacted in self-defense and stabs Fatima," Farraley said.

McGee argued otherwise.

"Never once did she (Kaitlyn) say she felt fearful for her life," McGee told the jury. "When she saw the opportunity she lifted it up and plunged it into Fatima Barrie's chest."

Ritcherson had a knife in her clutch purse that night. Her attorneys told the jury that the knife was used earlier in the evening to cut her hair extensions before she went on a date. Somehow Ritcherson injured herself with her knife. Her attorneys told jurors Ritcherson went to Seton Southwest to the emergency room. Her clothes were taken for evidence.

The jury got to see dash cam video from APD Officer Justin Berry's patrol car. He was one of the first to arrive at the scene.

"I was one of the first officers there. There was two of us in a crowd of 100. It was a chaotic and emotional scene," Berry told the jury.

More witnesses are expected to take the stand Tuesday. Ritcherson pleaded not guilty to first degree murder. If convicted she could spend the rest of her life behind bars.

The trial could last up to two weeks.

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