Kingsport man charged in samurai sword attack, victim in critical condition

Rain Smith • Apr 9, 2013 at 10:49 AM

A Kingsport man has been arrested after allegedly stabbing another individual in the stomach with a samurai sword, leaving him hospitalized in critical condition.

Mark Anthony Vermillion, 39, is charged with aggravated assault in the Monday afternoon incident. Kingsport Police Department records say it occurred inside Vermillion's residence at 3996 Memorial Boulevard, unit 17.

Police were called to the area shortly after 4 p.m. They reportedly found Joseph Wexler, 34, lying on the ground in front of the Pincrest Apartments office. He had a stab wound to the abdomen and identified Vermillion as his attacker.

KPD Det. Chris Tincher says Vermillion allegedly told Wexler to leave his apartment but Wexler refused, prompting the attack with the samurai-style sword. Investigators are still sorting through conflicting accounts from both men as to what originally fueled their confrontation.

Vermillion was arrested at his apartment without incident, charged with aggravated assault and booked into the city jail. Wexler, of 1132 Harrison Ave., Kingsport, was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center where he underwent surgery.

On Tuesday morning Wellmont spokesperson Jim Wozniak said Wexler remained hospitalized in critical condition.

Police report the incident remains under investigation with additional charges pending.

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