The trial began March 25 of Anthony Chambers, who prosecutors say stabbed his friend to death during a drug-fueled argument in a Chinatown apartment in February 2008.
Authorities say Chambers, 52, is a homeless drug addict who frequently stayed at a friend’s studio apartment in Chinatown. On Feb. 10, 2008, they say Chambers and another friend, Edward “Red” Quiles got into a heated argument after Quiles accused Chambers of stealing his stash of heroin.
“Drugs are part of the case” said assistant district attorney Ian Polumbaum. “Drugs explain why these two men joined together, then collided, ending in a homicide.”
Polumbaum’s case lays out a timeline where Chambers and Quiles spent a night buying and using heroin before passing out early the next morning. Later, the friend who had rented the apartment, woke up to hear the other two men fighting and “engaged in a physical scuffle.”
“Find my [expletive]. Where’s my [expletive]” Quiles allegedly yelled at Chambers. “Mr. Quiles was accusing Mr. Chambers of stealing drugs from him” Polumbaum said.
Chambers allegedly replied, “I don’t have your stuff.”
Then the tenant left the apartment and Chambers later called 911 to summon police.
During the fight, prosecutors say Chambers pulled a knife and stabbed Quiles. Chambers fled the apartment, but he and his blood-covered hands were quickly discovered by police, responding to his own 911 call.
Quiles bled out and died. Now Chambers is claiming self defense, but prosecutors don’t buy it. It will be up to a jury to decide what’s true in this sad case of drug-fueled death.
“Try to reconcile the evidence with the defendant’s own version of what happened” Polumbaum told jurors. “Pay close attention to his claim that he did this killing in self defense.”