A former Tutwiler resident is accused of stabbing his wife more than 20 times and driving a car over his sister-in-law during a roadside domestic altercation in the early-morning hours of Jan. 19.
Keith Martin, 31, of 320 Main St., Rome, has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault, said Tallahatchie County Sheriff Jimmy Fly.
At an initial appearance Friday, Jan. 21, before 2nd District Justice Judge Denise Washington-Lockett, Martin’s bail was set at $400,000 — $300,000 on the attempted murder charge and $100,000 on the assault charge, Fly noted.
Incarcerated at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler, Martin was scheduled to face Washington-Lockett again at a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 26, but the case was continued, according to a spokesperson for the judge's office.
Meanwhile, Lakeisha Galloway, 30, of the same Rome address, whom Martin is alleged to have thrust a knife into over and over again, is recovering from her wounds after a three-day stay at a Memphis hospital. A spokesperson for Regional One Health (formerly The Med) said Tuesday, Jan. 25, that Galloway was released on Saturday, Jan. 22.
Fly said the violent incident reportedly occurred shortly before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, after the vehicle in which the trio were riding pulled over along a stretch of U.S. Highway 49 West between Tutwiler and Rome, about three-tenths of a mile west of Campbell Road.
“They had been to Clarksdale and they were going back to Rome, where, we believe, they were going to be staying the night,” the sheriff said.
While the car was stopped, an altercation ensued, Fly noted, with Martin allegedly dragging his wife out of the driver’s seat of her blue late-model Chevrolet Malibu.
“They exited the vehicle, and that’s when the stabbing and all took place,” he added.
Martin allegedly stabbed Galloway repeatedly in the back and chest area, puncturing a lung, it was later learned.
Fly declined to specify the total number of stab wounds suffered by Galloway.
“I don’t want to get pinned down to a number...,” he noted. “I would feel comfortable saying more than 20 times.”
Somehow in the madness, Galloway’s sister, Tawana Carey, 33, of Drew, who had been a front-seat passenger while Martin sat in the back, was injured when the vehicle ran over her legs, said the sheriff, adding that it is for this act that Martin is accused of aggravated assault.
After the episode, Martin reportedly jumped into the vehicle and sped away.
Fly said Galloway and Carey telephoned their mother, who lives in Rome, before walking a short distance to the driveway of a nearby house. After calling for an ambulance, mom drove to pick up her daughters and then raced toward Clarksdale.
Fly said the ladies met and stopped the approaching dispatched ambulance on Highway 49 just inside Coahoma County.
There, a helicopter was summoned for Galloway and she was medevacked to Memphis, the sheriff added.
Carey and her mother were able to speak with a deputy at the scene, identifying Martin as the assailant, Fly noted.
Carey was transported by ambulance to the Clarksdale hospital and then released later that same day. She had not sustained any broken bones, the sheriff said.
Fly said officials secured arrest warrants for Martin and also issued a “be on the lookout” alert for him.
After officials received a tip about Martin’s whereabouts, he was taken into custody without incident at about 4:30 that afternoon by Quitman County lawmen who had spotted the Malibu near a liquor store in Marks.
Two other male subjects reportedly in the car with Martin were not charged.
Fly said no weapon was recovered during a subsequent search of the vehicle.
The sheriff expressed appreciation to the Marks and Tutwiler police departments and the Quitman County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this case.