Witnesses Highlight 1st Day of Preliminary Hearing for Man Accused of Stabbing Workmate in Neck with Scissors

By Ankita Joshi

ALAMEDA, CA – Fontine Adams was confronted by a series of witness statements—including one by the alleged victim—at his preliminary hearing here in Alameda County Superior Court Tuesday for attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon.

The first half of the preliminary hearing included witness statements from the arresting officers, and the victim who had been stabbed in the back of the neck with half of a pair of scissors.

The first witness statement given was that of the victim, who began by narrating the events of the day, stating that she had no relationship with the defendant other than that of a coworker.

The victim also noted that she had only been working at the research facility for four weeks, while Adams had been working there for only two weeks.

During the day of the incident, the victim had gone into a room to change a nitrogen gas tank where Adams was changing the label on a waste bin.

Defendant Adams asked the victim what to put on the label. However, the victim suggested Adams ask a different person at the lab since she didn’t remember.

After coming back into the room, the defendant had asked the victim if she needed any help with the nitrogen gas tank. She had replied she wasn’t sure because the sensors weren’t reading the temperatures. The defendant told the victim to go ask another person at the lab who had better knowledge about the machine.

After getting further instructions from another person at the lab and entering the room with a new tank, the victim leaned down to switch the nitrogen tank.

The defendant proceeded to ask the victim what was wrong and what she was doing. And as the victim’s back was turned, she “felt a hand on her shoulder and pressure on her neck.”

The victim thought she was being choked at first because her vision “went dark and [she] fell to her knees.”

After the pressure had dissipated, the victim recounted how she had looked back at the defendant—identified as Adams—to see him standing there staring at her.

She then felt something sticking out of her neck, so she ran out of the room and started yelling for help. After she started yelling, she said other people in the lab had come toward her to see what had happened.

The victim also noted that the defendant had come out of the room moments later and “acted like nothing had happened.” The victim recounted that defendant Adams asked “what happened” to which she had replied, “You did this to me.”

Other people in the laboratory moved the defendant away while the victim was rushed to the hospital for surgery to remove the scissors from her neck. Evidence of the injury was submitted into the court at this point by Deputy District Attorney Josefa Ada James.

The next witness was Detective Susan Le, who outlined the statement the victim had given at the time of the incident, all of which matched the victim’s earlier statement in court.

Defense Attorney Loren Williams also asked Detective Le if there was any blood present on the defendant’s hands or clothes at the time of the incident, to which Detective Le replied that there was none.

The third witness who was called was another reporting officer who had found the other half of the scissors that were used as a weapon.

DDA Ada James made sure to note that the second half of the scissors was found in the general area where the defendant had been working prior to the incident.

The first half of the preliminary hearing ended with this statement, and is set to reconvene later this week.

About The Author

Ankita Joshi is a second-year student at the University of San Francisco, pursuing a major in International Studies and a minor in Political Science. She is originally from Sacramento, CA.

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