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Police say stabbing victim too drunk to recount injuries

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Authorities found a man with knife wounds at a Jefferson motel Monday morning but said he was too intoxicated to tell them about the incident that led to his injuries.

The stabbing was reported about 9 a.m. at the Rustic Motel, 5910 MacCorkle Ave., said Cpl. Brian Humphreys of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office. LaSalle Burnett, 31, of Jefferson, was treated at the scene for stab wounds and taken to a hospital, he said.

Witnesses said Burnett had been drinking heavily. When deputies tried to interview Burnett, his speech was slurred and incoherent. Humphreys said another statement would be taken when Burnett is "medically and mentally able."

South Charleston Police assisted deputies in the response.

During the early part of the investigation, South Charleston officers were dispatched to contact Willis McLemore, 62, of South Charleston, and his daughter, Amber McLemore, 25, of Nitro.

The pair had called dispatchers to report their involvement in the incident. Kanawha Deputy J.E. Mace went to South Charleston to interview them.

Amber McLemore and LaSalle Burnett have several children together. According to her statement, Burnett was to be caring for the children but instead took them to a bar where they played with a ball and he got drunk.

She and her father found him at his room where he was staying at the motel and an argument ensued between the two men. There was also a fight with McLemore using a pocketknife to defend himself, cutting Burnett several times, according to the statement. As she and her father tried to leave, Burnett climbed on the hood of the car and they pulled away leaving him on the lot near his the motel where he was found.

The investigation is ongoing. No arrests have been made and no charges filed. Anyone with information is asked to contact Deputy Mace at 304-357-0169; or go to to submit an anonymous tip.

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