Charles Newman has plotted every minute, every second of his son’s life during the day and evening he spent his final hours.
The loss is something that never lets him rest since 19-year-old Markese Newman was stabbed to death on Aug. 28 with a cheap steak knife a year ago at Eby and Schwartz roads. He died on Aug. 29 at 5 a.m. at a local hospital.
His good friend and assailant, Shane Poe, also 19, happened to have the knife in the console of his car because, he said, it’s legal to do so in Ohio where both of them lived. Poe’s story is he grabbed for his knife as he stopped on the country road during a raging argument, according to court documents.
Poe stopped because he thought Markese threw out his cell phone out of the car.
Charges were originally filed against Poe on Aug. 30, 2021 for aggravated battery used when the assault poses a substantial risk of death, after Allen County Sheriff detectives submitted a probable cause affidavit. A few days later, those charges were dismissed.
The case remains under investigation by the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office.
Newman still hopes for new charges to be filed, though he doesn’t believe it was a murder. He said his son was stabbed three times as he retreated.
“This was not murder,” Newman says. “This was a crime of passion. It was two friends that were drunk. My son was trying to leave. He (Poe) was in the driver’s seat and my son was unarmed. There’s not an injury on Shane.”
JAVA has helped the father through grief and criminal justice system
Sunday, Newman, his supporters from JAVA – Justice Accountability Victim Advocacy – and his family and friends will hold an event at 2:30 p.m. at the Allen County Courthouse Green hoping to bring awareness to the case in the year that has passed since his son’s death.
“As always, we’re trying to support the family through their grief and through the process of the judicial system, help them understand and stay encouraged and hopeful,” Amy Davis, JAVA co-founder, said Friday. JAVA, a local grassroots activist organization, often acts as a liaison between the families and the criminal justice system.
“I’ve been doing this for about five years since I lost my nephew,” Davis said. “In a lot of cases, we see families just begging for murder charges, full court proceedings and all that. And in this case, you have this family that just says ‘I want this violent person off the street and I’ll settle with voluntary manslaughter, aggravated battery, whatever is suitable’. They just want charges. They want the person to be held accountable for taking their loved one.”
Steve Stone, a public information officer for the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, said nothing has changed in the county’s investigation. The prosecutor’s office has not responded.
Dead men can’t talk so Newman speaks for his son.
That night, Aug. 29, both had been drinking – Poe since 11 a.m. after a breakup with his girlfriend. The underaged and inebriated duo got kicked out of Piere’s in Fort Wayne around 8 p.m. while they attended a Kevin Gates concert.
Video obtained by Newman from Piere’s shows Fort Wayne cops sending them on their way, he says. If Newman could rewrite history, the Fort Wayne cops would have had them arrested, thrown in the drunk tank at the Allen County Jail and faced the consequences.
Newman continues to press for charges against Poe, who admitted that night he stabbed Markese, court documents say. He’s spent the last year relentlessly talking to witnesses and dealing with the Allen County detectives and prosecutors.
“If I sit down too long, then the mind goes,” says Newman who runs a courier and hauling business with his son, Kahli Newman, in Findlay, Ohio. The already thin and wiry Newman has lost 25 pounds and his black hair has turned gray.
“Basically I wake up in the morning and kind of transition from the initial shock that my son is for real gone. I attempt to wrap my mind around the fact that he’s never coming back,” Newman said. “A lot of times me and my son (Kahli) feel bitter at life. Like this situation has ruined me as a person.”
Newman says he is angry but he doesn’t want his kids to live his grief. “They don’t really understand why their dad’s got an attitude,” Newman said. “Grief is a very destructive thing.”
Along with grief, there is regret.
“The point that really messes me up is the battle of not feeling what a father is supposed to do,” Newman said. “I shouldn’t let him walk these streets. But I don’t go looking for problems. I just keep myself busy so I can keep the thoughts quiet in my head.”
Running a business is something that never really stops and the day to day, repairing vehicles and structuring the business are where he concentrates his mind now.