Local News

September 20, 2012

Both sides in stabbing incident claim self-defense

Two of the four men charged in connection with a weekend stabbing incident in Cohutta are out on bond.

Lloyd Aurthur Grasser, 35, of Summerville, and his nephew, Aaron Headspath, 19, of Varnell, were charged with battery and terroristic threats. Brandon Lee Silvers, 27, of Varnell, was charged with battery, and his brother, William Lee Silvers, 32, of Dalton, was charged with aggravated assault. Brandon Silvers and Headspath were still in the Whitfield County jail Wednesday with no bond while Grasser had posted a $4,000 bond and William Silvers was out on a $10,000 bond, a jail official said.

Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office Maj. John Gibson said it appeared to the responding officers that all four men were both perpetrators and victims in the incident that happened late Friday night. He said the details of what happened will likely be sorted out in court or in an investigation by the district attorney’s office.

The problems began, Gibson said, when Grasser and Headspath “went over to William and Brandon Silvers’ residence and made some threats to do bodily harm to them earlier in the day.”

Gibson said details of what happened during the fight that followed later haven’t been determined.

“It’s not real clear who the aggressor was, but it’s obvious all three of them (charged with battery) were involved in the altercation,” he said.

William Silvers said he and his family were visiting his brother when Grasser and Headspath came uninvited into Brandon Silvers’ home — which is next door to Grasser’s sister’s home on East Varnell Main Street in Cohutta — and began making threats. William Silvers said Brandon wasn’t in the room at the time, but when Brandon Silvers found out what they had done, Brandon went outside his house to where they were and told them to leave everyone alone. William said when Brandon did that, Brandon was attacked with a piece of broken glass.

William Silvers said he was afraid because of their earlier threats and because there were eight children in the house, so he grabbed a knife to protect himself and rescue his brother.

Grasser was lacerated, and Headspath was stabbed, Gibson said.

“I was scared to death. I didn’t know what else to do,” William Silvers said. “It felt like that was my last option, to do what I did.”

Grasser said he was not an aggressor. He said he was going out to put food on the grill when he saw Silvers stabbing his nephew and ran to his defense. He said he believed Brandon Silvers had become violent after Headspath told him to stay away.

“I’m from Chicago, and I’ve never encountered anything like this in my life,” Grasser said.

Brandon Silvers didn’t immediately return a message left through a family member, but Kristy Silvers, William’s wife, said Brandon acted in self-defense from Grasser and Headspath.

“Brandon told them to get off his property, and they jumped him,” she said.

She said Grasser and Headspath had come uninvited into Brandon’s home earlier that day and were threatening her.

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