Usually when you hear about a backstabbing friend, it’s a reference to someone who criticized a friend in a treacherous way (usually behind their back) while still pretending to be friends. But in this particular case the definition is a lot more literal. 41-year-old Roberto R. Garza from Gibson Township in Bay County is headed to trial this week for actually stabbing his friend in the back with a knife.
Police records reveal that the incident took place on April 5, 2106 in the evening. Garza had been hired to do some work around the house for his friend, Steven Bryce. When the work was completed, Bryce took him home and then went on to fix a flat tire on his car. In his preliminary examination testimony, Bryce admits that the pair hadn’t discussed or agreed on payment ahead of time, which may have contributed to the Garza’s frustration when his friend returned later that evening with $50 and a twelve pack of beer.
Bryce says that he tried to pay Garza with the beer and the $50, but Garza demanded $100 for the work he had done. Bryce claims that he told Garza that he only had $50 with him and Garza allegedly responded by saying, “Hang on,” and then walking back to the kitchen to get something. When he returned, Bryce says that he had a knife concealed behind his back “like a snake.” Garza is alleged to have swung as soon as he came within range, stabbing the knife into Bryce’s back.
Byce claims that he pulled the knife out of his back while it was still in Garza’s hand. “He still had control of the knife, or at least he thought he did. I never laid a single finger on that man. When he stabbed me with a knife, he totally took it upon himself to stab me in the back. I did not touch him.” he told the Bay County District Court during the preliminary examination.
Garza then allegedly lashed out at Bryce again with the knife, this time slashing his ear in half. The two then grappled and fell to the ground, where Bryce wrestled the knife away from Garza before running away. When asked by the defense attorney why he had chosen to engage with Garza instead of leaving, Bryce asked, “So I just stand there and let him keep stabbing me? Is that what people do?”
Bryce was hospitalized at St. Mary’s of Michigan Hospital in Standish, MI after first driving to his brother’s home. He was released from the hospital after about one and half days. Garza was arrested and charged with a single counts of Assault With Intent to Cause Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder, and Assault With a Dangerous Weapon. The first charge is a 10 year felony, and the second count is also a felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
Garza appeared for his first day of trial before Bay County Circuit Judge Harry P. Gill on Tuesday, October 4. Barring a last minute plea deal Garza’s trial will continue this week. We would like to remind our readers that until a person is convicted of a crime, they are presumed by the law to be innocent. If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, you will need skilled defense attorneys on your team. Contact us today at 866-766-5245. We can help.