PRINCETON — Accused of two counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated battery, Antuan L. McGhee told Gibson Superior Court Judge Robert Krieg Wednesday, "I would like an African-American attorney," and muttered a profanity about the proceeding during a video court appearance from the Gibson County Jail.
"Your freedom is in jeopardy," the judge responded to McGhee's comment, "...do you want an attorney or not?"
"I don't know, it doesn't matter," McGhee responded.
The judge entered a not guilty plea on McGhee's behalf and appointed Daniel Moon as indigent counsel, before ruling that McGhee's risk of flight and danger to the community warranted holding him custody without bond.
A 9 a.m. May 23 progress hearing is scheduled in the case, which stems from a Monday 911 call to Gibson County Central Dispatch regarding a woman and child screaming in the 600 block of East Broadway Street in Princeton.
According to Princeton Police Department Capt. Mike Hurt's affidavit showing probable cause for the felony charges against McGhee, police arrived at the scene and saw Megan Robb, 32, Princeton, holding her two-year-old child.
Hurt reported that McGhee fled the scene and was later apprehended by Princeton Police Officer Matt Perry.
Detective Travis Lashbrook and Princeton Police Chief Derek McGraw interviewed Robb, who told them, according to the affidavit, that McGhee sat down beside her and her daughter on a couch, move the child's head back and tried to cut the child's neck with a kitchen steak knife.
According to the affidavit, Robb told police she covered her child and McGhee kept stabbing both of them until the knife broke. Robb told police McGhee went to get another knife and she fled with her child.
Hurt reported in his affidavit that he interviewed McGhee, who said he dropped the child on the knife one time, but denied stabbing anyone.
At Wednesday's arraignment, the judge told McGhee the level 3 felony count of aggravated battery carries a potential sentencing range of three to 16 years in prison (advisory sentence of nine years), and each of the two level 1 felony counts of attempted murder carries a potential sentencing range of 25-65 years in prison (advisory sentence of 55 years) if he is convicted.
Although McGhee remains in custody, the judge also issued an order prohibiting any contact with Robb or her child.