MOUNT CARMEL — Despite testimony by her boyfriend that he accidentally stabbed himself in the chest, a 27-year-old Mount Carmel woman accused of committing the stabbing on Jan. 31 was held for court Wednesday on all charges during a hearing before Magisterial District Judge William Cole.
Testimony by arresting officer Tyler Herbster, a six-minute 911 tape in which the defendant, Heather T. Labella, allegedly admitted to stabbing Daniel Kramer, and photographs of the victim’s injuries and a blood-stained knife allegedly used presented by Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz convinced Cole to send the case to Northumberland County Court of Common Pleas.
Cole’s ruling came after Kramer testified that he accidentally stabbed himself in the chest while sharpening a knife on his bed. Kramer, who was present for the hearing and heard Labella admit on the 911 tape that she stabbed him in their residence at 143 S. Locust St., told the court Labella’s alleged confession was not true.
After Matulewicz asked Kramer if he understood the penalty for perjury, Cole advised Kramer of his constitutional right to remain silent for fear of possibly incriminating himself. Kramer acknowledged the judge’s warning, but continued his testimony.
Kramer claimed Labella’s emotions got the best of her when she stated that she stabbed him. “It was a spur of the moment thing,” he said.
Kramer said he and Labella had sexual intercourse after the stabbing.
He also testified that Labella never told him to leave the house and that he went outside for some fresh air after sweating profusely.
Kramer said the knife used in the incident was Labella’s knife that he described as a “collector’s item.”
Kramer, who said he has an apartment on Seventh Street but has been residing lately with Labella with plans to permanently move in with her, stated, “I wouldn’t let anyone stab me. I’m telling you the truth and I’ve been telling you the truth.”
Labella, who was represented by Northumberland County Public Defender John Broda, didn’t testify.
Herbster, a Mount Carmel patrolman, testified that he observed Kramer with a two-inch stab wound to his right lower chest upon responding to an emergency call at 143 S. Locust St. at approximately 4:30 a.m.
At the scene, Herbster said Labella and Kramer told him that Kramer was sharpening a knife while lying on a bed when it slipped out of his hand and struck him in the chest.
He said Kramer and Labella claimed the incident was an accident.
The officer said he didn’t find any blood on the bed, but observed blood on the blade of the butterfly style knife, the handle for which contained brass knuckles.
On the 911 tape in which Labella reported the incident, the defendant could be heard stating, “I accidentally stabbed him.”
Kramer’s voice could be heard in the background saying he had a hole in his chest.
On her way to Northumberland County Jail in Coal Township after being charged, Herbster said Labella stated, “I shouldn’t have pushed so hard.”
Herbster said Kramer was not cooperative at the scene. Following the stabbing, he said Kramer underwent medical treatment in an ambulance, but refused to be transported to a hospital.
Herbster testified he didn’t believe Labella’s account of how Kramer was stabbed.
Labella faces two counts each of aggravated assault and simple assault, and one count of possessing an instrument of crime and possessing a prohibited offensive weapon.
She was recommitted to the county jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bail.
After the proceeding, Matulewicz said, “It was a bizarre hearing. His (Kramer’s) testimony made no sense. It’s unfortunate when a crime is committed and the victim defends the defendant. It puts the district attorney and police in a difficult position.”