Family balks at self-defense argument in stabbing death of 20-year-old

Family of stabbing victim reveals new details about lead-up to attack

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The family of a 20-year-old killed at the beginning of May finds itself defending him against allegations he was partly responsible for the stabbing that led to his death.

Brothers Guy Tyree, 22, and Nathan Tyree, 20, stand accused of murdering Lucas Swift.

According to a police report, the brothers stabbed Swift to death in the 2300 block of Chickasaw Street around 4:50 a.m. on May 8. They pleaded not guilty in court the following day.

Defense attorney Scott Crosswell says the brothers opened their door that morning to find Swift trying to force his way inside their house.

"They were trying to push him out,” Crosswell told FOX19 NOW last week. "He ran at them essentially and tried to run through them to get into the house. All of the physical evidence showed that the struggle occurred inside the home.”

Because of that, the brothers could have a viable self-defense argument, says one legal expert.

Swift’s family disagrees.

Cindy Briggs, Swift’s mother, says the Tyree brothers’ story doesn’t make sense.

“He tried to unlock your door knob because he thought he was home," Briggs explained. "There is no way you can make that self defense. They were not in any type of danger. All they had to do was say, ‘Hey man, you got the wrong house. What’s your address?’ That’s all that had to happen.”

Briggs continued: “Stabbing him with a knife, that’s very personal and invasive. That’s not even, ‘Oh, I accidentally shot a gun off, what was I thinking?’ Like, you’re involved in that action. You know, repetitively. That’s a violent act. That’s not an, ‘Oops, I did something wrong on accident.'”

Molly Swift, Lucas’s sister, says she spoke with her brother two hours before he died. She says everything was normal and that they talked about his impending move to Pittsburgh, where his older brother, Travis Hart, had lined up a job for him.

Otherwise the family describes him as a fun kid that lit up a room with his personality.

The family says they do not know why Swift was outside at 4:30 a.m. on that day. They do say it could have been easy for him to get confused about where he was, since he had only lived at his address for three months.

“It’s just clear that he went back to the wrong place and thought 100 percent he was at home,” Hart said.

The home where Swift was stabbed to death is one street over from where he lived.

The Tyrees will be back in court in late July.

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