Suspect In Nurse's Fatal Stabbing In Court

Posted at 10:35 AM, Mar 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-16 21:26:45-04

The suspect accused of fatally stabbing a nurse inside her Nashville apartment appeared in court, where testimony revealed details in the case.

Christopher McLawhorn was charged with criminal homicide and especially Aggravated burglary in the stabbing death of 23-year-old Tiffany Ferguson.

The incident took place in her Wedgewood Park apartment in late-February during a home invasion. 

McLawhorn appeared in court for a hearing Thursday morning, where witness testimony got underway. 

One witness who allegedly met McLawhorn after the killing described the suspect as having injuries and scratches to his neck.

"He said he killed a lady. He said he killed someone, and that the marks came from a woman," said the witness.

He elaborated on the conversation, alleging that McLawhorn confessed to stabbing a woman inside her apartment, saying she woke up and he "didn't know what to do."    

He alleged that McLawhorn found out about her death the next day from local media. However, defense attorneys questioned the witness's testimony since he's had two encounters with police in the past, including charges of criminal impersonation and theft of property.  

Police said McLawhorn was in Ferguson's apartment complex that night trying to break into cars and apartment, but killed Ferguson while burglarizing her condo.

Detective Chad Gish testified as to what was found on McLawhorn's phone. He said the first Google search on his phone on the morning of the stabbing was "Nashville Tennessee stabbing." It was among several searches that were related to the incident.

That afternoon, searches like "latent print examination: will the rain wash away fingerprints," "just how incriminating is a fingerprint really," and others related to fingerprint matching.

Gish then told the court about other searches made that evening on a porn site like "murderotica" and "suffocation." A bondage suffocation video was then accessed on the phone.

Police found evidence in brush by railroad tracks near the apartment complex. It included McLawhorn's laptop, hat, which he was seen wearing in surveillance video, and a knife.

The detective also described a text found on the phone between McLawhorn and another witness of McLawhorn's efforts to create an alibi, saying "If cops ever asks you what I was doing, I got into it with someone, but you don't know much because you were playing music."

McLawhorn has a limited prior arrest history in Nashville. He was homeless at the time of the incident and was arrested for public intoxication in September of 2015, misdemeanor theft in October of 2015; and failure to be booked on the misdemeanor theft charge in December of 2016.