Authorities name suspect in Dowagiac stabbing

Published 5:56 pm Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Dowagiac man is in custody following a domestic dispute that took a violent turn late Saturday night.

James Starling

James Starling

James Henry Starling, 48, was charged with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder and domestic violence during his arraignment hearing in Cass County Court Wednesday afternoon. He is currently being held on $100,000 bond.

According to police, officers with the department responded to a reported stabbing at the 200 block of Jefferson Street around 11:48 p.m. When they arrived, they saw Starling attempting to flee the scene of the crime. Police detained and took him into custody.

Upon entering the residence, officers spoke to the female victim,  39-year-old Wanda Robinson, who had sustained multiple injuries to the side of her head and her chest and back around the shoulder area, said Director of Public Safety Steve Grinnewald. She and Starling were a longtime couple, having lived together for quite some time, the police chief said.

Police discovered that the two were in the midst of an argument when the suspect reportedly grabbed a screwdriver and repeatedly stabbed the victim. Officers reported the victim had been stabbed around 14 times in the attack, though none of the wounds were life threatening.

The suspect appeared to have been drinking alcohol at the time of the attack, though police did not run any type of blood test to determine his level of intoxication at the time of his arrest, Grinnewald said.

The two have had several domestic incidents in the past as well, which Dowagiac and other local police agencies have responded to in the past, he added.

The victim was transported via Pride Care ambulance to Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital for treatment, where she was listed in stable condition.

Starling was transported to Cass County Jail, where he was held on suspicions of attempted murder.

Dowagiac officers were assisted by Pokagon Band Tribal Police, Michigan State Police and Pride Care EMS.