Friday, March 30th, 2007
By Shelley Grieshop
Innocent plea to St. Marys stabbing
  A 33-year-old Spencerville man has submitted a written not guilty plea to charges he stabbed another man in the neck in a bar fight in St. Marys on March 12.
Eric C. Knopp offered the plea in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court where charges of felonious assault are pending against him.
A pretrial hearing is set for Tuesday. He is represented in the case by Gerald Siesel of Wapakoneta.
Knopp faces eight years in prison for the second-degree felony - possibly more due to prior convictions - and a $15,000 fine.
The report from the St. Marys Police Department said officers were summoned to the C&C Loft and Lounge at 10:39 p.m. for a fight in progress. When they arrived they found the victim, a 34-year-old St. Marys man, bleeding from a stab wound to his neck. Knopp allegedly used a pocketknife to stab the victim, whose name was not released.
Knopp fled the scene and was apprehended by police about two blocks away after witnesses provided officers with information on the assailant.
Both men were treated at Joint Township District Memorial Hospital, St. Marys, for injuries. Knopp had knife wounds to his hands, the report said.
Knopp reportedly has an extensive criminal record for violent crimes such as assault and illegally carrying a concealed weapon.
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