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St. Petersburg stabbing suspect has past murder conviction

ST. PETERSBURG — A man accused of harassing, then stabbing, a woman in the early hours of New Year's Day after she left a downtown nightclub was arrested by police on Tuesday.

James Alex Wilborn Jr., 30, was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Wilborn became a suspect after police recalled a similar incident that also occurred downtown in January 2010: Wilborn was arrested then after police said he harassed a woman as she left the State Theatre, then punched her after she rebuffed his advances.

But the suspect has a much more serious charge in his past. He was convicted of second-degree murder for stabbing his father to death in 1995, according to court records.

Wilborn was 15 when he stabbed his father and was 16 when he was sentenced to 17 years in prison in 1997. He served 11 years and was released in 2008, records show.

In 2010, he was charged with four counts of misdemeanor battery for harassing and punching the woman outside the theater, and for assaulting those who came to her aid. He was sentenced to six months in jail and a year of probation.

Then came Jan. 1. Police say the victim, a 30-year-old woman, and her friend had just left Push Ultra Lounge at 128 Third St. S and walked two blocks south looking for a cab about 2 a.m.

Wilborn followed them from outside the club, police said, then accosted them. Wilborn then "grabbed the victim in a sexually suggestive manner," according to police, and lifted the woman's dress up.

The woman slapped him, police said, and yelled at him to leave her alone. But when she turned her back, Wilborn stabbed her several times in the back, police said, then ran northwest through a parking lot.

The woman was taken to Bayfront Medical Center with stab wounds to her upper torso and a collapsed lung. The victim and her friend picked Wilborn out of a lineup of photos, police said.

Wilborn was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on Tuesday. His bail was not available.

St. Petersburg stabbing suspect has past murder conviction 02/01/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 11:18pm]
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