Man recounts having throat cut


 

Published December 12, 2007

ANGLETON — Struggling with a man he considered his friend, a 30-year-old Jones Creek man testified Tuesday he felt a burning sensation on his throat when he was attacked in May.

“I felt my head go back,” Michael Caldwell said. “I felt a burning sensation and I saw blood on the windshield.”

Caldwell testified Tuesday in the aggravated assault trial of Malcolm Bridges, 27, of West Columbia. Bridges is accused of getting in a vehicle behind the Caldwell, pulling his head back and slashing his throat with a filet knife the morning of May 16 in West Columbia.

Caldwell struggled with Bridges, managing to get the knife from his hand while fighting him off as Caldwell tried to exit the car, he testified. He had to crawl out of the driver’s-side window because he was not able to open the door, he told the jury of seven men and five women.

“I couldn’t even open up my door because there was so much blood,” Caldwell said.

Bridges and his girlfriend conspired to rob the victim of about $1,000 while the three rode to Houston so Caldwell and Bridges’ girlfriend could receive pain treatments, prosecutor Jessica Pulcher told the jury during opening arguments.

Bridges’ attorney, Craig Hughes, declined to give an opening statement Tuesday but did tell District Judge Randall Hufstetler he intended to call his client to the stand.

His client likely will testify that Bridges and Caldwell were arguing over a missed payment for prescription drugs, Hughes said.

Hughes cross-examined Caldwell on the stand and asked him directly if he had lunged at Bridges during the struggle and whether he — not his client — was the aggressor in the car.

“I wouldn’t say I lunged,” Caldwell testified. “I turned my back because he was beating on me.”

Caldwell denied being the aggressor or that he threatened Bridges in the car that day.

Bridges came out of the house that morning and sat behind Caldwell and talked to him before carrying out the attack, Pulcher said.

“As he looked in the rear-view mirror, he could see the knife go across his throat,” she said of Caldwell. “He had no idea it was coming.”

Caldwell also testified to running away from his vehicle before he passed out at a nearby street.

“I knew I was dying,” he said.

Prosecutors would not comment on any possible charges against the girlfriend.

Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday afternoon, and Hughes said he plans to call his client to the stand after testimony resumes at 9 a.m. today

If convicted, Bridges faces a possible 20-year prison sentence plus a $10,000 fine.

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