McCowan's case focuses on blows to head in fight
After reaching the door of MSU student Andrew Singler’s apartment on the morning of Feb. 23, Okemos resident Connor McCowan said his subsequent actions were a result of a series of blows to the head.
Singler allegedly hit McCowan multiple times above his left eyebrow when McCowan saw a bright light and stumbled backward into the hallway, McCowan testified Friday in his trial in Ingham County Circuit Court. McCowan said he began feeling effects associated with concussions during the fight and stabbed Singler in retaliation.
“I never even took a step forward,” he said. “There wasn’t any time. He hit me two or three times, then I pulled out my knife at that point.”
McCowan was charged with open murder after allegedly stabbing and killing Singler during the altercation, instigated by a series of angry text messages sent between the pair regarding Singler’s treatment of his girlfriend, McCowan’s sister Shay McCowan.
During the conversation, Connor McCowan threatened to “beat the s***” out of Singler and “f****** knock (his) teeth in.” Later that night, Singler threatened to “f****** kill (Connor McCowan),” but Connor McCowan testified he didn’t see that text message until he arrived at Singler’s apartment complex.
Connor McCowan’s trial likely will conclude this week. If he is convicted, he could face life in prison.
Defense attorney Chris Bergstrom painted a picture of Connor McCowan as a former high school athlete who had sustained a series of sports-induced head injuries, but Ingham County Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Dewane rejected the claim and said Connor McCowan showed no signs of abnormal behavior associated with injury when he was arrested.
Once Singler was stabbed, testimony indicated Connor McCowan ran down three flights of steps in Singler’s apartment complex. He got in his car, called Singler’s roommate Tyler Aho several times, drove home and took a picture of himself on his phone before waking up his father and relaying what he’d done.
Connor McCowan did not deny stabbing Singler, but said he felt disoriented and terrified.
“It happened so fast, I didn’t have time to do anything,” Connor McCowan said. “I needed Andrew off of me. I had to get him off me.”
McCowan testified Friday that he already had calmed down before arriving at Singler’s apartment and said he was trying to make amends with his friend.
Dewane questioned his motive when he cross-examined Connor McCowan on Friday, saying Shay McCowan texted her brother to say she was okay.
“Your older sister told you, ‘Don’t worry about it, let it go,’” Dewane said to McCowan Friday. “You would agree with me that you didn’t follow that request … It appears to me that you’re the instigator here.”
“I knew she was fine,” Connor McCowan replied.
“I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but I felt the need to take (the knife) just in case. I wasn’t sure,” Connor McCowan said.
Connor McCowan’s trial is set to continue 8:30 a.m. Monday.