Plea ends trial over stabbing

WARREN – With a jury already four hours into their deliberations over two days, a 27-year-old Warren woman who was on trial in the stabbing of her brother opted for a plea deal that allowed her to admit to a misdemeanor charge.

Kristina Burgess, 27, had faced between two and eight years in prison on the second-degree felony charge of felonious assault. Now she will undergo a pre-sentence investigation on the first-degree misdemeanor charge of assault, which carries a sentence of up to a year and a $1,000 fine.

Burgess most likely faces a probation stint since she has no criminal record.

”I thought it was a decent resolution to the case. Kristina was hesitant at first, but she said she was happy to have this behind her,” said attorney David Rouzzo, who represented Burgess, who tried to convince jurors that she acted in self-defense when she stabbed her 26-year-old brother Patrick White Jr. in the chest in early July outside the Glenwood Street N.E. home they shared.

”We had some indications that the jury was struggling over the verdict. We offered the deal with the full approval of the victim. And the defendant agreed to pay restitution for the two tires that she slashed,” assistant county prosecutor Charles Morrow said. ”I though it was a good resolution.”

A hung jury would have meant, Morrow had the option to re-try the case.

The jury of eight men and four women heard both Burgess and White tell their versions of what happened late July 8 and early July 9.

A petite Burgess, who still remains free on bond, cried as she watched her 6-foot-5, 220-pound brother strip down to his bare chest so the jury could see the seven-inch scar on the right side of his chest. He spent two weeks in Trumbull Memorial Hospital with a punctured lung, lacerated liver and a fractured rib after he said Burgess stabbed him with a kitchen knife outside the home.

Burgess, who played football at two colleges including Youngstown State University after playing football, basketball and track at Warren G. Harding High School, said he also played arena football for a time in Lincoln, Neb.

White admitted he was upset that his leather jacket was missing and he blamed his sister. The two argued, leading up to a tussle in which Burgess said White threw her down on a chair.

Burgess tried to strike her brother with a leg that was broken off the chair. She admitted grabbing a kitchen knife, running outside, and puncturing two tires on White’s SUV.

Burgess then claims, and White denied, that he struck his sister over the head with a container of antifreeze before he was stabbed while they were still outside the house.