Blood was the key to the opening day’s trial of a man accused of stabbing another man to death in August 2020.
For the prosecution case against Robert Michael Adair Jr., it tells the story of a violent murder most foul.
Adair’s attorney, Art Mata, made it clear the argument that bad blood between Adair and Jose Matos will root to a claim of self-defense for his client.
After two days of jury selection, trial began Wednesday morning in District Judge Gerald Neuwirth’s courtroom. A jury is determining the guilt or innocence of Adair for a second-degree murder charge. The crime is punishable by between 10 years to life in prison.
Adair is accused of the August 2020 murder of Jose Matos, 42, at a Lawton motel. Matos was killed from multiple stab wounds to both sides of his chest.
Matos was found lying dead in the parking lot of the Rodeway Inn, 3110 Cache Road, outside of a room. His shirt cut from him so first responders could attempt to save his life. It would be among the bloody clues left behind of the violence on that day.
Lawton Police Crime Scene Investigator Detective Jeremy Walters provided insight into photos he’d taken at the crime scene.
“The blood tells a story,” he said.
Assistant District Attorney Jill Oliver presented Walters’ photos as evidence. Among the photos were images of Matos’ blood recovered from the room.
A pool of blood identified where Matos fell to the ground in the parking lot. Blood drops leading back to the room and transferred onto a pillow showed a post-killing trail investigator said Adair made while gathering his belongings and riding off on his mountain bike.
Witnesses gave police a description of the suspect and the bicycle he rode off on. Adair was stopped by police a short while later at Northwest 44th Street and Cache Road, at first trying to run off when police identified themselves. He was taken into custody and rushed to Comanche County Memorial Hospital for evidence collection; he had blood on his fingernail bed and pants. That blood would later prove to be Matos’, Walters said.
Inside a bloody backpack carried by Adair were bloody gloves and two large knives.
“Is it safe to say there was a lot of blood on the backpack?” Oliver asked Walters.
“Yes ma’am,” he replied.
One knife was just under 2-feet long and appeared to be a small machete with Matos’ blood on the top of the handle.
Walters said the other knife, an over foot-long Smith & Wesson HRT knife tested positive for the victim’s blood. Two other knives were recovered from Adair but neither had blood evidence on them, the investigator testified. He said the droplets on the blade showed a “medium velocity” consistent with a stabbing.
Walters noted that underneath a top t-shirt, Adair was wearing another shirt with “Down with my demons” scripted to its front.
Evidence of intravenous drug use was recovered from Adair and the motel room.
A witness earlier in the day testified that Adair had come to her room to sell Matos $100 worth of methamphetamine. She said the men got into an argument and she made Matos leave the room. That’s when, she said, things went down between the men.
Following his arrest, investigators said Adair admitted to killing Matos in what he described as an “either him or me” moment. It appears to be the direction Mata will argue in attempt to persuade the jury.
During cross-examination with Walters, Mata asked if, based simply on the physical evidence, you can tell what happened prior to the stabbing and whether it was in self-defense?
Walters, who collects evidence but doesn’t conduct the interviews, answered simply: “No.”
Prosecution testimony begins again at 8:30 a.m. today with Lawton Police Detective Abe Woelfel followed by a State Medical Examiner to close the state’s arguments.
Mata told Neuwirth he plans on calling two witnesses before closing arguments. Testimony is expected to close and the case be turned over to the jury today.
Adair remains in jail on $250,000 bond.