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Northeast D.C. woman acquitted in fatal stabbing of boyfriend after bed dispute

A Northeast Washington woman was acquitted Thursday in the fatal stabbing of her former boyfriend after an argument about whether he had allowed her enough space on her bed.

A D.C. Superior Court jury found that Patricia A. Cave, 50, acted in self-defense when she stabbed Lamont Warren, 36, in the chest.

Prosecutors said Cave, who had spent the evening drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes Warren had brought her, became angry when he refused to slide over on the bed to make room for her.

But Cave’s attorney, Santha Sonenberg, argued that Warren became angry when Cave tried to move him and that he grabbed her by the throat and choked her.

Cave stabbed Warren with a knife that was on her nightstand, according to authorities, who charged her with voluntary manslaughter while armed.

Months before the June 2 incident, Cave had taken out a restraining order against Warren, in which she said he had repeatedly abused her. They were in a nonexclusive sexual relationship at the time of Warren’s death, prosecutors said.

After the jury delivered its verdict, Cave hugged Sonenberg. She shouted, “Thank you, Jesus!” and family members hugged her as she left the courthouse. Cave also hugged some jurors.

It took jurors about four hours to reach a verdict after about two days of testimony. Outside the courtroom, several jurors said they thought that Cave had acted in self-defense and that she was fearful of Warren, who was 6-foot-1 and weighed about 210 pounds.

“We did not have enough evidence that she did not act in self-defense to reach a guilty verdict without reasonable doubt,” a male juror said. “She had a pattern of abuse, and it was completely believable that she was trying to protect herself.”

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.

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