Victim's family disputes self-defense theory in Rome stabbing death

By JOLEEN FERRIS

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - The 26-year-old Brooklyn man accused of stabbing a Rome man to death early Tuesday morning was in Rome City Court for a felony hearing Friday afternoon.

Twenty-year-old Stephen LaPointe was stabbed at the corner of Lawrence and Depeyster Streets around 3:30 Tuesday morning. Terrence Dames faces a second degree murder charge.

At the felony hearing, a Rome Police Officer read a statement he took from Dames in which Dames says he was walking along the street, minding his own business, when LaPointe and a group of people said a racial slur and instigated a fight. Dames goes on to claim he wrestled a knife from LaPointe and stabbed him in self defense.

LaPointe's brother, Sheldon Brown, who witnessed the crime, took the stand at the felony hearing today and said he saw Dames pull the knife, and saw the actual blade. Another brother said that Dames story just doesn't ring true.

"My brother's story, everyone sticks, everyone has the same story, then he has this crazy story about how my brother tried to attack him, he was just trying to walk by himself. I don't believe that at all. My brother like I said, he was kind of a hot head but he wasn't a confrontational person, that's not who he was," says Nicholas LaPointe.

LaPointe says that, when people look back on his brother's short life, he wants them to know that he was wasn't just a low life from south Rome.

"You ask anybody, they'll say Stephen would come over, help you out, do whatever he could. He was good with my son, he was good with kids, he was good with everybody," says LaPointe.

Nicholas LaPointe got a tattoo honoring his brother. Between his wrist and elbow, it bears victim Stephen LaPointe's name, and the date of his birth and death. The family has also set up a facebook account where they can share photos and memories of their son and brother.

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