Prosecution presses McCowan on night of killing
After Okemos resident Connor McCowan stabbed his friend, MSU student Andrew Singler, on the morning of Feb. 23, he 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 take a picture of himself on his phone before waking up his father and relaying what he’d done.
McCowan said during testimony at his trial in Ingham County Circuit Court Friday that he began feeling effects associated with concussions after he’d shown up at Singler’s door and sustained at least two blows to his eyes and head. He did not deny stabbing Singler, but said he saw a bright flash of light when Singler punched him and felt disoriented and terrified.
“It happened so fast I didn’t have time to do anything,” Connor McCowan said, his voice quavering. “I needed Andrew off of me. I had to get him off me.”
But according to Ingham County Assistant Prosecutor John Dewane, McCowan shouldn’t have been able to do any of the things he did following Singler’s stabbing if he was as disoriented as he claimed.
McCowan faces an open murder charge after he was accused of stabbing and killing Singler following an argument over how Singler was treating his girlfriend, McCowan’s sister Shay McCowan. He began testifying in his own trial Thursday afternoon and was subjected to cross-examination from Dewane Friday morning.
As Dewane talked through the text messages between Connor McCowan, Shay McCowan and Singler sent on the night of Singler’s death, he attempted to paint their argument as a series of deliberate choices Connor McCowan made that led to an early morning 911 call.
According to court testimony, Connor McCowan was sick, tired and sober on the night of Singler’s death. He had work early the next morning, and was sleeping when he first learned of the argument between Singler and his sister, both of whom had been drinking.
Shay McCowan initially told her brother via text message that Singler had injured her during an argument, but later told him she would be OK.
“Your older sister told you, don’t worry about it, let it go,” Dewane said. “You didn’t follow that request.”
“I knew she was fine,” Connor McCowan replied.
Connor McCowan and Singler proceeded to get in a text messaging argument, with Connor McCowan threatening to “beat the s***” out of Singler and “f****** knock (his) teeth in.” Later in the conversation, 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.
The fight escalated, with Connor McCowan eventually driving to Singler’s residence after stopping to get gas in his car. When asked by Dewane if he was the instigator in the fight, Connor McCowan replied, “I don’t know.”
“I believe I was bluffing, hoping he would realize that I thought it was unacceptable how he was talking to me,” Connor McCowan told the court.
Dewane was skeptical about McCowan’s previous testimony that he drove to Singler’s apartment to make amends, especially after the violent content of his texts.
“After all those threats … Now you’re calm and you just want to be his friend?” he asked.
Connor McCowan’s decision to unfold his knife and put it back in his pocket prior to approaching Singler’s door also was called into question by the prosecutor. Connor McCowan said he didn’t know if he would use it, but wanted to be prepared.
“I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but I felt the need to take it just in case. I wasn’t sure,” Connor McCowan said.
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