Man pleads guilty to manslaughter in Elsmere Park stabbing death

jwarren@herald-leader.comDecember 5, 2013 

A man accused in the fatal stabbing of another man in Lexington pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree manslaughter.

Gerardo Turcios-Rodriguez entered the plea in Fayette Circuit Court just before he was to go on trial on a murder charge in the 2012 stabbing.

Douglas Saylor was found in a pool of blood in the kitchen of his home on Elsmere Park on June 2, 2012.

Before a jury could start hearing evidence Thursday morning, Turcios-Rodriguez abruptly switched his plea from not guilty, pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter.

Before accepting that plea, Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine questioned Turcios-Rodriguez at length as to whether he understood the charges, and about what happened during the stabbing.

The defendant, who doesn't speak English, stated through an interpreter that he was drunk at the time and remembered little of what happened.

According to Turcio-Rodriguez's account, Saylor called him by cellphone at a bar on Sixth Street and invited him to come to Saylor's home for a drink.

The defendant said that when he arrived, Saylor answered the door wearing no clothes and invited him inside. Turcio-Rodriguez said Saylor gave him a large glass of "dark strong drink" that gave him a headache.

According to the defendant, Saylor began touching him and Turcio-Rodriguez pushed Saylor away. Turcio-Rodriquez also said Saylor had a knife, and that he took the weapon away from him, grasping it by the blade.

Turcio-Rodriguez said he remembered nothing of what happened after that until he later arrived at his home and found cuts on his fingers and blood on his clothing.

Saylor was stabbed about 30 times, according to prosecutors.

The prosecution recommended a sentence of 16 years on the manslaughter charge, plus one year on a charge of tampering with evidence.

Goodwine scheduled sentencing for Jan. 24.

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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