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West York stabbing: One man pleads, 2nd on trial
One of two men accused in a bloody West York stabbing had most charges against him dropped, but his co-defendant is now on trial in York County Court.
Jonathan Kirsch, 26, of West Manchester Township, pleaded guilty Tuesday, Jan. 16, to simple possession of a controlled substance, which is a misdemeanor. In this case, the drug was marijuana, according to Kirsch's attorney.
Dismissed were Kirsch's charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, attempted drug possession with intent to deliver and criminal conspiracy.
"I don't view it as a plea deal," defense attorney Chris Ferro said. "To me, this was not a plea agreement. It was simply the commonwealth's recognition that Jonathan is a witness in this incident and nothing more."
Ferro confirmed Kirsch has been subpoenaed to testify against former co-defendant Logan Hale, who remains charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault and related offenses.
"I fully expect him to testify and tell the absolute truth, and let the chips fall where they may," Ferro said.
Trial this week: Trial for Hale, 27, of West York, started Tuesday in York County Court.
Ferro said the resolution happened after senior deputy prosecutor Kim Kipnis agreed to review Kirsch's involvement in the stabbing, at Ferro's prompting, he said.
"To her credit, she was willing to make the difficult decision of (dropping) these charges," he said.
Kipnis was in trial Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.
Ferro noted "it's always a good day" when your client goes from being charged with attempted first-degree murder to pleading out to a misdemeanor drug offense.
"I always believed these charges were going to be dismissed — or he was going to be found not guilty," the attorney said.
'Gaping' wound: Hale is accused of using a dagger to stab victim Kenneth Ray, now 34, numerous times, according to court documents filed by West York Police.
Ray suffered a "gaping abdominal wound (that) exposed the victim's intestines," those documents state.
Ray required emergency surgery, according to police.
West York Police said Hale admitted to stabbing Ray and told them he arranged a pot deal between Ray and Kirsch and that the three of them drove to Hale's home in the 1500 block of West King Street.
Hale maintains that once there, Ray pulled out a knife and tried to rob the other two men of marijuana and cash, according to court documents.
Hale told officers that's when he grabbed a dagger from his bedroom, chased Ray outside and stabbed him, documents allege.
After obtaining a search warrant, officers found a bloody knife and bloody tissue on the roof of Hale's home, and also found blood-spattered clothing Hale allegedly wore the night of the stabbing, according to documents.
Kirsch was sentenced on Friday, Jan. 19, to a year of probation. He was ordered to submit to random drug tests and complete a drug and alcohol evaluation, according to court records.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.