Court: Victim lost six pints of blood during Cusseta Road fatal stabbing

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 17, 2014 

Niketa Brooks

Before Niketa Garnette Brooks called 911, she texted her friends and cleaned up her boyfriend's blood, police said during a Recorder's Court hearing.

The 39-year-old woman faced charges of murder and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime Monday morning. She is accused in the fatal stabbing of Tyree Jevontae Burtin.

Dispatchers initially reported the victim as a child, but when police arrived they found 38-year-old Burtin visibly suffering from blood loss, Sgt. Lance Deaton told the court.

By the time EMS workers transported Burtin from his 4100 block Cusseta Road home to Midtown Medical Center at about 1:40 a.m., he had lost about six pints of blood — about three quarters of the amount housed in the average human body, Deaton said. Two liters of blood were in his chest cavity, where the stab wound punctured a major artery. He was pronounced dead not long after arriving at the hospital.

In her version of events, Brooks said she was cutting meat on a 35-inch kitchen counter at about 1 a.m., when Burtin came up behind her and attempted to hug her. Startled, she spun around, stabbing Burtin in the process. She then admitted to taking a mop bucket and cleaning up a majority of the blood.

Burtin, who is 5-foot-8, does not have stab wounds that match up with Brooks' story, Deaton said. The stab wounds were more consistent with an "up-and-down" stabbing motion than with the spinning slash the 5-foot-7 Brooks described.

When police investigated further, they found that Brooks cleaned not only the blood but also the 12-inch kitchen knife she used to stab Burtin. She also sent several texts to various friends, some of which read "I stabbed (Burtin), I'm going to jail," Deaton said.

Officers also discovered a text sent to one of Burtin's friends, which said that the couple was arguing prior to the stabbing. Deaton said Brooks deleted those texts before police arrived.

While checking the 911 call history of the residence, police discovered that Burtin had reported Brooks previously for domestic violence. During that call, which happened at an unspecified time, Brooks was reported for behaving in a threatening manner with a knife.

Judge Michael Cielinski set Brooks' bond at $25,000. No bond was set for the murder charge.

After the hearing, Brooks' aunt, Olivia Jackson, apologized to Burtin's family for the incident, though she declined to go into detail about her niece's relationship with Burtin.

"All I know is this is something that happened to both our families that we're going to have to get over," Jackson said. "It's not something we can get used to. But it should have never gotten to the point where he's not with us anymore."

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