Trial begins for suspect in New Year's Day stabbings

8/21/2013
BLADE STAFF

The trial of a Toledo man charged with stabbing two people – one fatally – at an Alexis Road bar on New Year’s morning got under way today in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Hector Alvarado, Jr., 40, of 637 Sterling St., is charged with murder in the Jan. 1 death of Christina Henderson, 23, and felonious assault in the wounding of her fiance, Stacey Bowen, at the former South Beach Bar and Grill.

Jurors began the day by visiting the bar and parking lot where the attack occurred in the midst of a New Year’s Eve party that ended with a large fight -- described as "absolute chaos" -- among the bar patrons.

Michael Bahner, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, told jurors in opening statements that video footage from security cameras would tell much of the story.

“You’re going to watch Mr. Alvarado seated there at approximately 1:59 a.m… You’re going to see Christina Henderson and Stacey Bowen together unharmed at that point,” he said. “Seconds later, you’re going to see a fight break out… It’s going to be undisputed that Mr. Alvarado and Mr. Bowen were engaged in a fight at that point in time.”

Defense attorney John Thebes cautioned the jury to listen to the evidence and witnesses carefully because while prosecutors say Alvarado “is the only person who could’ve possibly done this,” they must prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.

The trial is expected to last three days.