Testimonies begin in trial of man accused of fatal 2014 Upper Kirby stabbing

HOUSTON – Testimonies began Thursday in the trial of Huntley Grichor, a man charged with a fatal stabbing at an Upper Kirby apartment complex in 2014.

In 234th District Civil Court in downtown Houston, the jury heard about the chaos that ensued at the Gables West Avenue Apartments in Upper Kirby on September 28, 2014.

Three Houston police officers, who all testified as witnesses, gave opening statements about what they witnessed that night. The first patrol officer said he found Shannon Gallagher on the floor of the fourth floor of one of the buildings of the complex. Gallagher had a stab wound to the chest and wasn’t responding to CPR, according to the officer.

The officer said when firefighters declared the victim dead, friends of Gallagher became aggressive with the officer. Other responding officers worked to separate and detain some of the 20 people who were gathered on the floor, according to witnesses.

The responding officers described the fourth floor as chaotic. They say people were yelling, screaming and pushing. Similar complaints from 911 calls made from apartment residents painted a similar picture.

The second and third patrol officer both testified that someone in the crowd pointed to and told them the suspect was inside one of the apartments. The officers said they stood outside the fourth-floor apartment to barricade the defendant, Huntley Grichor, inside. That’s when they said Grichor’s girlfriend ran past them and inside the apartment.

They said while one of the officers restrained her, two others spotted Grichor about six feet from the door. Both the officers testified saying Grichor said, “It was self-defense. It was self-defense.” The patrol officers said Grichor told them the knife was inside the kitchen sink right before he was arrested. The officers testified they saw a wet, soapy kitchen knife in the sink.

Grichor’s attorney said he thought the opening statements went well.

“I don’t think it could have gone any better,” said Chris Flood, Grichor’s attorney. “We were given the opportunity through the first responders to the scene that they realized very quickly what had actually occurred which was that they had been attacked by the deceased and his friends ... who were also very aggressive with the officers.”

Several emotional 911 calls were also played for jurors to hear, including ones from the girlfriends of Grichor and Gallagher. Both women were calling for help for different reasons.

Grichor’s girlfriend had called to report a group of men banging on their apartment door, one with a knife. She sounded frantic and scared on the audio that was played for jurors. Gallagher's girlfriend called to report her boyfriend had been stabbed and was losing blood.

The stabbing death at the apartment complex was the result of an argument between the men earlier that evening at a Midtown bar.

The trial will continue Friday, June 22 at 9:30 a.m.

The prosecution declined to offer a comment after the trial, saying it was too early.