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UPDATED: Stabbing victim improves to 'stable condition;' police say women were fighting over bra

Virginia Frye

A Williamsburg woman is being held in the Whitley County Detention Center in lieu of a $1 million cash bond after allegedly stabbing another woman in the chest during a dispute late Tuesday evening.

The victim, Erica Petrey Canada had improved Thursday afternoon and is now in stable condition. She has apparently been moved to a regular hospital room at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, said Whitley County Sheriff's Deputy Shawn Jackson, who is the investigating officer.

Virginia L. Frye, 30, of 18893 Highway 92 East, who is charged with attempted murder and tampering with physical evidence, is scheduled to be arraigned via video arraignment Friday morning in Whitley District Court.

About 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, Whitley County Sheriff's deputies responded to 18503 Highway 92 East after a caller told 911 dispatchers that there had been an altercation between two females. One of them had been stabbed five or six times, and the other fled the scene.

A family member transported the victim, Erica Petrey Canada, to Jellico Community Hospital for treatment, and she was later airlifted to Knoxville.

Canada and Frye had apparently been friends in the past. At one time, Canada stayed with Frye until they parted ways, Jackson noted.

"There were some threats that apparently flew around by third person, which weren't true and ended up leading to the altercation," Jackson said.

He said the perpetrator told him that she had called Canada that evening to ask her to return a bra that she had borrowed, and Canada told her that she had a problem with her so they decided to meet in the road to settle the dispute.

"I believe there is more to it. I never could get an actual motive from either side besides they used to be friends, and there had been some threats made over the past little bit," Jackson said.

They met at an acquaintance's house, which was about 500 feet from where Canada was staying and about one-quarter mile from where Frye lived with her boyfriend, Arliss J. McKiddy.

Canada was armed with a small lug wrench, and Frye had a large kitchen knife.

"I believe both knew there was going to be an altercation. Both did come to the meeting point armed," Jackson said. "I believe they both knew in their hearts there was going to be an altercation.

"However, that is not the proper way to settle things, especially when it is over such minor detail. Unfortunately, Ms. Canada is the one, who got the bad end of the deal."

Jackson later located Frye and McKiddy at a residence less than one mile away from the stabbing scene at 19954 Highway 92 East.

The residents told Jackson that Frye and McKiddy had fled that location, but after getting permission to search the residence Jackson found both of them hiding in the laundry room.

Jackson and Deputy John Hill returned to the scene of the stabbing with Frye and McKiddy and witnesses told them that Frye had allegedly removed the weapon from the scene.

McKiddy gave police permission to search the residence where he and Frye resided, and McKiddy directed them to the clothes he had been wearing during the incident, which appeared to have blood on them.

"McKiddy also showed deputies a large kitchen knife, which was in the sink and had been washed, which he stated was the weapon used in the stabbing," Sheriff Colan Harrell said in a press release.

According to McKiddy's arrest citation, he had put the knife in his pocket and taken it to his residence.

"I think the reason they fled is number one, Mr. McKiddy had removed the weapon from the crime scene," Jackson said. "I think in her heart Ms. Frye knew how bad the situation was. I think it was just their attempt to flee."

Jackson charged McKiddy, 52, of 18893 Highway 92 East, with tampering with physical evidence. He is being held in the Whitley County Detention Center in lieu of a $10,000 cash bond, and is also scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning in Whitley District Court.

Hill interviewed Canada at the Jellico Community Hospital before she was flown to Knoxville where he learned that she had been stabbed six times with the most serious injury being a chest wound.

She had also had stab wounds to her arm and leg.

Jackson said that in the case of stabbings, you will sometimes see serious infections, and that victims will sometimes get worse over a few days.

The case won't be presented to the Whitley County Grand Jury Monday because there is still quite a bit of work to do on the case, Jackson noted.

By the time the case is presented next month, Jackson is hoping to have a better idea of the victim's condition.

"We are hoping by the time the next grand jury meets, she will have a drastic amount of improvement," he added.

Frye suffered some minor injury to her face. Jackson took her to Baptist Regional Medical Center in Corbin where she received treatment for her injury before being released back into Jackson's custody.

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