Widow of man killed in Crown Point stabbing testifies
By Ruth Ann Krause Post-Tribune correspondent August 21, 2012 4:30PM
Updated: September 23, 2012 6:17AM
Lake Superior Court jurors heard the widow of a Crown Point man who died of a stab wound early on Thanksgiving morning describe how a chance encounter on the Courthouse Square after a night out drinking turned deadly.
Kristin Huseman recalled the events that led to the death of her husband, Brandon Huseman, during the murder trial on Tuesday of Jeffrey Matthew Nemcek, 23, of Crown Point. Nemcek has pleaded not guilty.
Questioned by deputy prosecutor Jamise Perkins, Huseman said she, her husband, her sister and her sister’s boyfriend, three cousins and a friend of her cousins were walking home from the Bar Association at about 1:25 a.m. Nov. 24 when Nemcek made a remark along the lines of “you guys look like you could use a DD,” referring to designated driver. One of the individuals in the group replied that it looked like Nemcek could use a DD.
The group had continued walking, but Nemcek put up his arms and yelled something like, “You got something to say to me?” in an agitated, angry voice. Two of the men yelled a response, and Brandon Huseman told the group, “we’re not going to do this,” and tried to get everyone to leave.
Nemcek walked toward Huseman and made what Kristin Huseman described as “three upper cuts,” as if he were punching her husband in the stomach. No one in the group had any physical contact with Nemcek before the punching motion, she said.
Shortly thereafter, Kristin Huseman recalled, her husband told her, “I think I just got stabbed, Kris. I think I just got stabbed. I’m going to die.” They continued walking south on Main Street, then laid Brandon Huseman on the ground outside Chase Bank.
Jurors heard Kristin Huseman’s anguished 911 call to Crown Point police.
Brandon Huseman, 26, had been stabbed once with a switchblade but suffered severe internal injuries. He died at Franciscan St. Anthony Crown Point after surgery.
During opening statements, defense attorney Kevin Milner said men in the Huseman group punched Nemcek and pushed him to the ground before his client pulled out the knife. Milner said his client acted in self-defense to get the larger men off of him, then walked away.
Charges were filed about seven weeks after the stabbing. Milner said Huseman’s family, whom he described as “prominent, wealthy professionals” pressured the prosecutors’ office to charge his client, who he said comes from a family of limited means and has only a GED.
In her opening statement, Perkins said Nemcek took off his bloody sweatshirt and threw it away, then tossed the knife in a construction site. Nemcek never called 911.
Testimony is expected to continue Wednesday in the courtroom of Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr.