W. Michigan vet could face life in prison
Updated: Wednesday, April 10 2013, 01:48 PM EDT
OTSEGO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A West Michigan veteran of the war in Afghanistan is facing the possibility of life in prison.
Family told Newschannel 3 that Anthony McFarlane finished his service with the Army last summer, and he is heavily decorated for his performance in combat.
Now, less than a year later, he is facing a charge of assault with intent to commit murder, after stabbing a man in Otsego.
His family maintains that it was self-defense.
After three years in the Army, and one in Afghanistan, his family and attorney say McFarlane was honorably discharged after being diagnosed with PTSD and traumatic brain injury after falling off the side of a mountain during an IED attack.
In January, McFarlane was at a party with his fiance, and his attorney says they were having a minor argument outside when a man walked up and asked if she needed help.
They both said no, and the man walked on, but a couple hours later, that same man reportedly came back, and McFarlane's family says in a split-second altercation, the decorated combat veteran reacted to protect himself.
At just 22 years old, he is now facing the possibility of life in prison.
Matthew Ware told Newschannel 3 that it all happened during a get together at his Otsego apartment in January, when he was standing outside with McFarlane and two other friends.
"Well, this man walks across the street and there were no words said to him or anything, and he assaulted my friend," Ware recalled.
But Adam Laws, the alleged victim, testified last week that McFarlane stepped in front of him on the sidewalk and asked Laws if he remembered him from the previous encounter.
Laws says McFarlane placed a hand on his chest, and that's when Laws admits he grabbed McFarlane by the collar and threw him up against a wall, only realizing he had been stabbed when he started to walk away.
Ware said no one called 911, because they were "trying to deal with the children."
"Cause when he walked away, what he actually said was 'I'm going to go get my son,' but to us, it sounded like it was a gun," Ware said.
Another point of contention emerged as Laws said he left his 10-year-old son home alone around 8:00 p.m. to walk to get him a movie, and he was stabbed on the way home when he had no choice but to walk by the apartment and McFarlane a second time.
Ware says he will testify that Laws was dropped off across the street by a car around 10:00 p.m., headed straight for McFarlane, and was obviously drunk.
Newschannel 3 will continue to keep an eye on this case and will bring you any new information as it develops.