CEDAR RAPIDS – Racquel Truax testified Thursday she didn’t know what happened to her Oct. 14, 2011 until she looked down and saw blood drops on the porch.
“I could feel blood slowly pouring out of my body,” Truax, 30, formerly of Cedar Rapids who now lives in Georgia, testified during her ex-boyfriend Shaheed Pendleton’s attempted murder trial.
Truax said she had no doubt that Pendleton is the person who stabbed her 16 times, which almost ended her life.
Pendleton, 33, of Cedar Rapids, is charged with attempted murder, willful injury causing serious injury and assault to inflict serious injury (domestic assault). He is accused of stabbing Truax, in their home during an argument while both were drinking, and taking ecstasy and using cocaine. Pendleton also had three minor cuts on his chest.
Pendleton claims he was also assaulted by the person who stabbed Truax that night, according Wednesday’s testimony.
Doctors testified Wednesday that Truax was “lucky” to be alive after being stabbed 16 times in her head, chest, abdomen, both sides, arms and back. She lost a large amount of blood and one of the wounds resulted in a life threatening injury to her aorta and main vein near her chest.
The prosecution rested after Truax testified and the defense will start 9 a.m. Friday in Linn County District Court. Closing arguments will not start until Monday because the attorneys and judge have to go over jury instructions Friday afternoon.
Truax said Pendleton had been acting strangely all day before the stabbing. He became angry with her and locked her out of the house at one point so she had to crawl through a window to get inside. He also spit in her hair and would walk by her and punch her.
She and Pendleton had broken up several months before after being together for more than nine years and having two children, but they still shared a house because Pendleton had nowhere else to live, Truax said. Pendleton was angry and possibly jealous that day because two men came by the house and were talking to her.
Truax admitted to partying the night before and staying up into the next day without sleeping and continuing to drink and using drugs with her friend Lavonne Smith and Pendleton. She doesn’t remember everything the night of Oct. 13, but she remembered most of what happened the next day and the stabbing incident.
Truax, tearing up at times said she remembered arguing with Pendleton as he came swinging his arms at her. She first thought he was punching her.
“He was looking at me….he was angry,” Truax said. “I’ve never seen him look like that. Then he walked away up the stairs.”
Truax said it wasn’t until then when she realized she had been stabbed and was bleeding.
Assistant Linn County Attorney Nic Scott asked if she stabbed Pendleton.
Truax said she didn’t. She also said she didn’t see a knife in Pendleton’s hand. She only saw a black object in his right hand and doesn’t remember seeing his left hand.
Pendleton owned two pocket knives, one with a black handle and black longer blade and another with a black handle and shorter silver blade, Truax said.
Tim Schemmel, Pendleton’s attorney, on cross examination asked if she saw the knives prior to the stabbing.
Truax said she thought they would have been in the house that day but admitted she didn’t see them that day.
Lavonne Smith, formerly of Cedar Rapids but now lives in Memphis, Tenn., also testified about the events that day. She admitted to being intoxicated but remembered Truax and Pendleton were arguing and after passing out early in the morning Oct. 14, 2011, she awoke to Truax crawling through the window after Pendleton locked her out.
Smith said Pendleton was arguing and spitting at Truax, angry and jealous over the two men coming to visit. At some point during the arguing, Pendleton came at her “swinging” his arms, not punching motion, and she didn’t think it was serious until she saw “blood everywhere.”
“I heard Racquel say ‘I can’t believe you stabbed me,’ Smith said. “He looked creepy like he had no emotion.”
Smith said it all happened quickly. She didn’t see a knife in Pendleton’s hand.
Scott asked if Truax stabbed Pendleton.
“She didn’t stab him. She only punched him before (the stabbing), Smith said.
In earlier testimony, Cedar Rapids Police Crime Scene Investigator Ron Johnson testified about a knife recovered by police from the kitchen sink in the home tested negative for blood.