Man on trial for stabbing COGIC pastor 91 times - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man on trial for stabbing COGIC pastor 91 times

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The family of Church of God in Christ pastor Ronald Paige filed into Judge Lee Coffee's courtroom after a brief break Tuesday afternoon.  But graphic crime scene photos later forced some of them to leave.

It came toward the end of the first day of Andre Harris's murder trial.  He was a 21 year-old homeless man at the time pastor Paige was killed.

"Multiple sharp force injuries as well as blunt force trauma," explained medical examiner Lisa Funte from the witness stand.

Funte explained Paige's testified the pastor could have died from either the beating or excessive stabbing he suffered.

"There were 66 stab wounds and 25 incisive wounds," said Funte.  

That's 91 wounds in all.

Paige's body was found inside his Raleigh apartment in April 2008.  Prosecutors say he had taken Harris in as a good deed and was later killed for his cash and Mercedes Benz.

"The family is deeply hurt," Paige's brother in law told us at the time. 

"We don't know all the details about everything right now, but I'm sure it will all come out after while," he said.

The family later learned shocking claims by suspect Andre Harris which are now the building blocks of his defense.  He says he stabbed Paige only after the pastor tried to sexually assault him.  His attorney told the jury Harris was clearly provoked into killing the clergyman.

Pastor Paige preached at two churches in Arkansas at the time of his death.  The murder trial is expected to last the rest of the week.

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