- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) - The suspect in a weekend stabbing in Evergreen that left a man hospitalized in critical condition has a credible claim of self-defense, Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan said Tuesday.

Surveillance video from two nearby businesses seem to support Kyle Wesley Puckett’s claim that Carl “Scott” Lamar, 27, attacked him from behind late Friday night as they walked from a gas station and past a casino to a trailer court where the fight occurred, Corrigan said.

The video shows Lamar beating Puckett “pretty severely,” Corrigan said.

The fight moves behind a fence, where the cameras cannot see all that occurs. Puckett, 28, said Lamar pulled out a knife, so he did the same. Lamar suffered two superficial cuts to his abdomen and a cut to the back of his knee that hit an artery, causing severe blood loss, Corrigan said.

The video does not show the stabbing. But it shows Puckett walking away and Lamar slumping to the ground.

The stabbing remains under investigation. One knife was found next to Lamar, while Puckett said he gave his knife to a woman for her dispose of it. Officials are still looking for that knife.

Corrigan said he plans to send the surveillance footage to the FBI to see if the law-enforcement agency can enhance it.

Puckett “has, at this point, what appears to be a credible and viable claim of self-defense,” Corrigan said. “We are not going to file attempted homicide charges against Puckett at this time.”

The investigation will continue.

Lamar remains hospitalized on life support, Corrigan said.

Prosecutors did, however, file a motion to revoke Puckett’s release on his own recognizance after he entered an Alford plea for criminal possession of precursors to dangerous drugs.

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