Opening statements begin in trial of man accused of paralyzing s - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Opening statements begin in trial of man accused of paralyzing store manager in robbery

Quennell Washington, 37 (Source: Caddo Correctional Center) Quennell Washington, 37 (Source: Caddo Correctional Center)
Prosecutors say DNA linked Quennel Washington to the armed robbery and stabbing at this Line Ave. Dollar General store in May 2013 that left Kenneth Berry paralyzed. Prosecutors say DNA linked Quennel Washington to the armed robbery and stabbing at this Line Ave. Dollar General store in May 2013 that left Kenneth Berry paralyzed.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Opening statements have begun in the attempted murder trial of a man accused of stabbing a Dollar General Store Manager and leaving him for dead.

37-year-old Quennel Washington is charged with attempted first degree murder, armed robbery and possession of marijuana.

Police say on May 24, 2013 Washington went to the Dollar General in the 8100 block of Line Avenue where he reportedly stabbed the store manager outside of the business before he went inside to rob it.

Jurors heard from the victim, Ken Berry, now a quadriplegic living in Alabama. They also saw photographic evidence of the crime scene. 

Prosecutor Dale Cox says surveillance video from the store shows the suspect holding the butcher knife up to the cashier and demanding money. 

Cox told the jury that when Washington attacked Berry he cut his own hand, and when he raised the knife up to the cashier a drop of his own blood fell to the floor, which provided the DNA evidence that placed him at the crime scene. 

Cox described the moment Berry was attacked with a knife and told the jurors "he[Ken] bent over to smoke, heard footsteps he looked left but before he could look right a man wearing a gray hooded sweat shirt appeared with a knife yelled an obscenity and then plowed the knife into the back of his neck." 

"I felt something on the back of my head and neck, instantly felt pain and pressure that was like nothing I've ever felt before," Berry said to the jury. 

Jury selection wrapped up early Tuesday afternoon and the trial is expected to last on a couple of days.

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