Knowles charged with deliberate homicide in death of Meriwether - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Knowles charged with deliberate homicide in death of Meriwether

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Joseph Knowles Joseph Knowles
Megan McKenna Meriwether Megan McKenna Meriwether

Joseph Edward Knowles has been charged with deliberate homicide for the stabbing death of Megan Meriwether in Great Falls.

Knowles is being charged as an adult.

Meriwether, 18 years old, died on Friday, September 23rd, after a fight was reported in an alley near 10th Street and 8th Avenue South.

After police arrived, a witness identified one of suspects as a friend of his, Joseph Knowles.

Police say the witness contacted Knowles, who told him that he gotten into a fight with a girl over a marijuana purchase.

Knowles, 16, had originally been charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence; assault with a weapon by accountability; and solicitation to commit distribution of dangerous drugs.

Also charged in connection with the incident is Brianna May Coombs, 18 years old. She is facing charges of tampering with evidence, assault with a weapon by accountability; and solicitation to commit distribution of dangers drugs.

New court documents filed on Monday include a more detailed statement from a 12-year old boy who was with Knowles and Coombs during the incident.

He told police that he saw Meriwether come to the vehicle chasing Coombs and saying "Please give me my bag back," or similar statements, as Coombs got into the vehicle.

The boy said that Meriwether held on to the outside of the car door, and an altercation began between Meriwether and Coombs through the door or window of the vehicle. 

The boy said that Coombs had a large baggie which he believed contained marijuana, and that Meriwether kept telling Coombs to give the bag back.

The vehicle eventually stopped, and Coombs and Meriwether continued fighting, according to court documents.  

Meriwether then pulled out a knife, according to the boy, and attempted to assault Coombs with it "multiple times."

The boy told police that Coombs wrested the knife from Meriwether but dropped it.

The boy said that Knowles then got out of the car and "entered the fight," and that Meriwether was pushed to the ground. The boy said that Knowles and Coombs then began assaulting Meriwether on the ground.

The boy told police that he saw Knowles "take the knife, and that he had it in his hand while he was on top of Megan," striking her. 

The boy specifically described a point where he saw he knife "sliding," which is when he believes Knowles probably stabbed Meriwether. The boy stated that Coombs did not stab Meriwether.

At that point, according to court documents and the boy's statement, Knowles and Coombs got up and called Meriwether names and swore at her as she lay on the ground.

When questioned by police, Coombs said that she and Knowles had planned to steal Meriwether's marijuana from the outset and never intended to pay for it. 

Court documents state that Meriwether was lying on the ground when she was stabbed, as blood evidence showed she did not move from her position on the ground.

Autopsy results indicate that Meriwether died as the result of a single stab wound to the trunk of her neck, resulting in massive blood loss.

Coombs and Knowles charged in connection with Meriwether's death

Obituary: Megan McKenna Meriwether

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