FORT WAYNE, Ind. (TCD) -- A 33-year-old man was arrested for allegedly stabbing his friend in a motel room after the two allegedly started to "spar."
On April 11 at approximately 8:46 p.m., Fort Wayne Police officers responded to the Travelers Inn on East Washington Boulevard after a woman called to say she was concerned about her friend’s well-being. According to the Fort Wayne Police Department, officers made their way into the motel room and located an unresponsive male victim. He was declared dead at the scene.
The Allen County Coroner identified the victim as 48-year-old Terry Eugene Coleman. He reportedly hails from Louisiana but reportedly spent time in Jacksonville, Florida, before coming to Fort Wayne "sometime prior to May of 2021." The coroner said Coleman died from a stab wound to the neck and his manner of death was homicide.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Harris reportedly called the woman who called 911 to tell her Coleman "was laying in a pool of blood" and "looked battered." Harris allegedly told the witness via Facebook messenger, "Terry is dead."
Harris reportedly referred to Coleman as a "sergeant gunner" in the interview with detectives because they were both in the military. The two men were reportedly in the motel room "exchanging stories and recalling times during their tour together."
Coleman allegedly told Harris he "wanted to 'spar,'" so the two men began fighting on the floor. At one point, Harris reportedly went to the bathroom and "smashed the toilet tank lid and was flailing his arm around and demonstrating that he was actively trying to protect" himself. Coleman reportedly wanted to keep fighting, but Harris "used enough force against the victim to show that he was dominant."
The affidavit says after they stopped fighting, Harris went to a nearby gas station to get cigars for Coleman. When Harris returned, he reportedly found Coleman "laying crumpled up against the bed" with his arm "behind his back in a 'chicken wing' position." Harris allegedly tried to stop the bleeding with toilet paper, but he then threw the paper away because it was not working.
Surveillance footage reportedly showed Harris and Coleman entering the room at 2:39 p.m., and Harris leaving at 4:57 p.m. "carrying something from the room that he did not carry in."
Investigators reportedly found a knife in one corner of the room, as well as a "large body size hole in the wall." During the investigation, Harris reportedly said Coleman "wanted the defendant to kill him and then stuck a knife in his neck."
Harris reportedly described Coleman’s wound "to have been straight into his neck with a tear to the back ear." He allegedly washed his hands of any blood and flushed a towel down the toilet that allegedly had blood residue on it.