The retrial of a Kanoplis man convicted of a fatal stabbing at a Salina bar back in 2003 begins its second week Monday in Saline County District Court.
Jerry Bird of Salina was stabbed in the heart at the Red Kitten Bar, which was located on Holiday Drive in Salina, on February 8th, 2003. Bird died six days later, on Februray 14th,
52-year-old Douglas Aldrich of Kanoplis was convicted of second-degree murder in October of 2003 in connection with the crime. He was in prison, serving a 51 1/2 year sentence, when he was granted a retrial by a judge in 2012 after successfully arguing he had not had an effective attorney during the murder trial.
Aldrich is claiming he stabbed Bird in self defense.
The stabbing happened after Aldrich had been drinking for several hours with a small group of people inside the Red Kitten. Bird, who was not an employee, had previously physically removed Aldrich fom the bar folllowing altercations involving Aldrich and several other people. The stabbing happened when Aldrich returned to the bar to retrieve a pair of sunglasses, and Bird was removing him again.
Jurors so far in the retrial have heard testimony from among others, those who were in the Red Kitten the afternoon of the stabbing, multiple Salina police officers who worked the case, the Kanopolis police chief, the doctor who conducted Bird’s autopsy, and Aldrich’s employer at the time. They also viewed surveillance video from the bar.
The Kansas Attoreny General’s Office is handling the prosecution in the retrial, which is expected to take two weeks.