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No charges expected in fatal Perry stabbing

PERRY — No charges are expected to be filed in Tuesday morning’s fatal stabbing at a Perry residence, officials said.

“At this point, it looks like it was self-defense,” Houston County District Attorney Jason Ashford said.

However, Ashford said he expects to ask a grand jury to review the case.

“We never want to be accused of deciding these kind of cases in a vacuum,” Ashford said.

Frankie Lee Releford, 54, died at 1:45 a.m. at Perry Hospital after he was stabbed in the chest with a 10-inch kitchen knife, said Perry police Capt. Heath Dykes.

Marthann Hooten, 54, told police she stabbed Releford in her home at 1506 Houston Lake Road in Perry after the two got into an altercation and Releford pulled a 3-inch pocket-knife on her, according to George Potter, Perry public safety director and police chief, and a Perry police news release.

Hooten and Releford had been drinking when they started to argue and Releford brandished the pocket-knife, Dykes said.

Hooten then grabbed the kitchen knife to defend herself, and Releford was stabbed as he came toward her, Dykes said. “She thought she was in fear for her life and did what she had to do,” Dykes said.

The wounded Releford backed out of the house and then rode his bicycle about 600 feet to another home at 1403 Houston Lake Drive where police and emergency medical workers were summoned about 1:30 a.m., Dykes said.

Releford was taken by ambulance to Perry Hospital, where he died, Dykes said. An autopsy performed Tuesday showed he died from his injuries from the stabbing, Dykes said.

Potter said state law provides for a person to defend himself or herself — including with the use of lethal force.

“She has the right to defend herself in her own home,” Potter said.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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