The suspect police arrested Monday in connection to the stabbing of a New Britain woman appeared in court on Tuesday.
Tyris Johnson, 22, of New Britain, is charged in a homicide that happened over the weekend, but he claims that the killing happened in self-defense, according to the arrest warrant.
Victim Laura Barlow, 42, of New Britain, was found covered in blood, with her jeans around her ankles in the middle of Lafayette Street, where she walked after being attacked in a nearby parking lot, according to the warrant.
But Johnson told police that he stabbed Barlow in defense as she and another person tried to rob him during a drug and prostitution deal gone wrong, the warrant states. He also told police two other versions of the events before that.
Police were tipped off to Johnson’s involvement in the crime by his roommate, who called them saying he returned home that night covered in blood. Police have recovered Johnson’s bloody clothes and the murder weapon, the warrant states.
“It’s bizarre and I think there are some facts that need to be uncovered at this point because this is an individual that’s never even been arrested before, much less convicted of a crime,” said Deron Freeman, Johnson’s defense attorney. “He’s 22 years old and he’s scared and he’s young and so something doesn't make sense.”
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Farmington determined Monday that Barlow died of a stab wound to the torso and ruled the manner of death as a homicide.
Police identified Johnson as a person of interest in the case and he admitted to committing the crime when police interviewed him.
A passing motorist called police at about 11:15 p.m. on May 17, the night of the stabbing, to report seeing an injured female in the road a short distance from the intersection of Lafayette Street and Beaver Street in New Britain.
The female victim was initially conscious but lost consciousness before medics arrived, police said. She was transported to The Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain and was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.
Authorities are investigating the stabbing. They are asking anyone with any information to call New Britain Police Det. Perez at 860-826-3134.
Police charged Johnson with murder and are holding him on a $1 million bond. He is due back in court later this month.
New Britain police and the New Britain State's Attorney's Office continue to investigate the case. Authorities ask anyone with information on the stabbing to contact Det. Felix Perez at 860-826-3134.
Anonymous tips may be made by calling the community tip line at 860-826-3199 or on the police department's website.