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Defendant claims self-defense in fatal stabbing case

By ErinPradia
May 16, 2012 at 12:16 a.m.


Daniel Ross Coffey, who was charged with murder Tuesday in the stabbing death of William Giesalhart, is claiming he acted in self-defense.

Giesalhart was staying at Coffey's apartment in the 1500 block of North Wheeler Street, according to the search warrant affidavit for the apartment filed with District Judge Robert Cheshire.

The men had known one another for about two years, according to the document.

Coffey appeared agitated when officers arrived at his home. He told officials that he and Giesalhart had been drinking when Giesalhart attacked him with a brown handled folding knife, according to the affidavit.

Coffey grabbed a black handled butcher knife and stabbed Giesalhart, claiming self-defense, according to the report.

Neighbor Douglas Ofstad, 56, was smoking outside his apartment when Coffey approached him and Michael Allen Boothby, 48. Coffey told Ofstad that he had killed someone. The three men returned to Coffey's apartment where they called 911.

Giesalhart was taken to DeTar Hospital Navarro, where he died of stab wounds, according to the report.

Police obtained a search warrant for the knives, pictures of the crime scene, bloodstained clothing and other items in Coffey's home.

Coffey remained in the Victoria County Jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond.

Both men have previous criminal histories.

Giesalhart was charged with nine crimes dating to 1974, including driving under the influence, assault, burglary, unlawful carrying of a weapon, theft and tampering with government records, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety website.

His latest conviction was for bail jumping and failure to appear in January 2011.

Coffey was arrested 13 times in Victoria and as far away as Houston. He was charged with 16 various crimes dating to 1973, according to the DPS website.

Coffey's charges include possession of marijuana, theft, burglary, driving while intoxicated and injury of a child, elderly person or disabled person. His latest conviction was for criminal mischief in December 2009.

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