CHINA — The stabbing death of a man inside his girlfriend’s home this summer will not lead to charges, authorities have confirmed.

James Dodge, 38, died July 13 as a result of a single stab wound to his chest. Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said that the investigation into the incident is now complete.

“No charges will be brought because the evidence very clearly shows that self-defense would clearly be applicable in this case,” Stokes said. “There would be no way for us to disprove self-defense.”

Dodge was stabbed inside the home at 324 Hanson Road that he shared with his girlfriend, Rebecca Bragg, for the past several years. Three other people were in the home at the time of the stabbing. Police have said the three people cooperated with the investigation.

Dodge’s cousin, Danielle Dodge, said the authorities who notified the family of the decision this week claimed James Dodge was holding a baseball bat when he was stabbed. She believes her cousin grabbed a bat to try and defend himself against the three other people in the home, whom police have never identified.

“We’re just devastated,” Danielle Dodge said. “They’re not giving us information. If they’re going to sit there and say it was justifiable, why can’t we know what happened?”

Stokes said investigators would not offer specific information about events that occurred inside the house in an effort to protect the investigative process and the others who were there. He said state law gives people the right to use deadly force if they reasonably believe their lives, or the life of another person, is in imminent danger of the unlawful use of deadly force.

“In this particular case that standard would have clearly been generated,” Stokes said. “I don’t think the family has all the evidence. They don’t have all the information we have. I understand the family’s grief, but their understanding of what transpired in that house that night is not entirely accurate. It’s not limited to him simply having a baseball bat. It’s more than that.”

Stokes declined to release additional details.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642
[email protected]

 

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