FIRST there was the argument, possibly over a mobile phone, between a father and son. Then there was the violent struggle that spilled out into a Maryland street, ending with the father in “deep trouble” suffering from multiple stab wounds, and the son on the run.
Police have charged a man over the stabbing murder of his father, who on Wednesday night was found lying in a driveway in a pool of blood, suffering from at least five stab wounds.
The son, who cannot be identified due to a non-publication order, was formally refused bail in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday to undergo a mental health assessment.
As the man ran off into the dark shortly after 9pm, two John Hunter Hospital nurses rushed to the older man’s aid, after earlier hearing an “angry” argument between the two men as they got ready for their night shift.
“He was on the ground and we knew he was in deep trouble,” one of the nurses said.
“The son was not there. We started CPR, but given the wounds, clearly he was not going to survive.”
The cause of the argument was still under investigation but it is understood a phone may have been involved, an account backed up by detectives and witnesses who overheard the men arguing.
Other witnesses described the scene on Wednesday night as “chaos” in an ordinarily quiet street.
A neighbour said the street was shocked by the ordeal but noted the pair had experienced “some troubles” in the past.
"They've had their ups and downs," she said. "But for that to happen, it's pretty scary."
One described the deceased as “a kind, loving, caring person who would do anything for anyone”.
Police cordoned off the family home and the front yard of a house across the road as a forensics team gathered evidence.
A parked car in the driveway of the neighbour’s home was heavily coated in fingerprint dust.
The son refused to be interviewed by police on Thursday.
However, Newcastle City crime manager Detective Chief Inspector Peter Mahon said police would allege the father was stabbed “several” times by the son, confirming that there were a number of witnesses to the stabbing.
He also confirmed that the weapon used was a knife.
“It’s happened in a person’s front yard and they’ve witnessed it, so it’s just tragic for everyone, especially this time of year being Christmas,” Chief Inspector Mahon said. “Understandably, they would be pretty shocked by this incident.”
In court, magistrate Ian Cheetham granted a request for a non-publication order on the name of both the victim and the accused.
The court heard that one of the family members was unaware their father was dead and their brother accused of murder.
The accused looked frantically around the courtroom and appeared to cry at times as his matter was heard.
He glanced every so often at the other members of his family seated in the public gallery.
The matter was adjourned to December 15.