Witness: Woman ‘sorry’ for fatally stabbing boyfriend


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The man who witnessed the stabbing death of his uncle says the victim was drunk on his couch when he was attacked by his girlfriend.

“She stabbed him in the heart,” witness Kyle Hill told 24 Hour News 8. “I watched them, I told her no, but she wanted to do it anyway. I can’t stop nobody from doing nothing.”

The stabbing happened around 12:45 a.m. Friday at the Millbrook Apartments, off Eastern Avenue SE south of 28th Street.

Authorities found the victim, 33-year-old James Arthur Washington, inside an apartment with multiple stab wounds. Hill said the woman stabbed Washington four times.

Janaya Aflower Johnson, 36, is being held at the Kent County jail with no bond, police said Friday afternoon. Saturday, she was arraigned on one count of open murder.

Police said the stabbing followed a domestic between boyfriend and girlfriend, but they say there’s no indication Johnson was injured.

Hill said the victim was his uncle, who lived with him. His said his uncle and Johnson had taken the bus home about a half-hour earlier, had been drinking and were arguing.

“I don’t even know what they were arguing about,” he said.

He said Washington was slumped on the couch when Johnson grabbed a long steak knife from the kitchen drawer.

His uncle, he said, didn’t say a thing.

“Pretty much he was drunk, out of it,” Hill said. “She attacked him.”

Hill said he called 911, but there was nothing he could do to save his uncle. Johnson almost immediately apologized.

“She just said, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it.’ She was scared,” Hill said.

But, he said, he didn’t believe her.

“Pretty much, yeah, she did mean it,” Hill said.

Police said Johnson left the apartment but was later found in the area and arrested.

State police records show she was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 1997 and destruction of property in 2005, both in Battle Creek.

Washington was on parole after serving seven years of a one to 15-year sentence for a sexual assault in Grand Rapids, according to state records. He was convicted in 2005 and paroled in 2012. He also has a prior conviction for sexual assault and assault with a dangerous weapon.

An autopsy was to be conducted Friday.

Anyone with information is asked to call Grand Rapids police at 616.456.3604 or Silent Observer at 616.774.02345.

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