A Portage County grand jury met Thursday to consider increasing a felonious assault charge against Marcus Barnes, of 822 Silver Meadows Blvd. Barnes previously said in court that he acted in self-defense when Christopher DeAngelis, 20, of Ravenna, and Christopher Wawrin, 21, of Rootstown were stabbed.
Wawrin, a computer science major at Kent State University, died Dec. 1 after being hospitalized in Robinson Memorial Hospital's intensive care unit in Ravenna since the stabbing. The grand jury, which has the power to up the charge to murder, reheard the case Thursday.
Barnes was arrested after turning himself in and later was indicted by a Portage County grand jury on two counts of felonious assault in connection with the stabbings.
Barnes remains held in the Portage County Jail, where he has been since his arrest, in lieu of posting a $200,000 bond.
An indictment against Barnes on a murder charge was expected to be filed at the courthouse in Ravenna today. The charge had not been filed as of press time, according to the Portage County Prosecutor's and Clerk of Courts offices. Murder carries a possible sentence of 15 years to life in prison.
The stabbings occurred outside of a residence at 976 Main St. in Kent where a party had been held that Barnes, Wawrin and DeAngelis attended with several others. Witnesses have said the violence came on the heels of a fight among the three men.
When Barnes appeared in Portage County Municipal Court in Kent on the felonious assault charges shortly after his arrest, he told Judge Perry Dickinson he acted in self-defense when he stabbed the two men.
Law enforcement authorities are still investigating what motivated the fight, which resulted in Wawrin suffering a severed artery under his arm, which caused an extreme loss of blood. Wawrin received 50 units of blood while in the hospital. He also was on kidney dialysis and breathing through a ventilator before his death.
Wawrin and DeAngelis were good friends since they met in junior high school. Both graduated from Rootstown High School.
Barnes was at the party as the guest and boyfriend of one of the resident's of the home where the party was held. Kent police previously executed a search warrant at Barnes' apartment and retrieved a steak knife and a lock-blade knife, according to court documents.