Stabbing victim improves

Stabbing victim improves

A 21-year-old Medford man was in fair condition Sunday at Rogue Valley Medical Center after receiving stab wounds Saturday during an incident in the 500 block of Dakota Avenue, Medford police said.

Kristopher Wayne Simpson had been in critical condition Saturday after recovering from surgery to his abdomen, hospital officials said.

Medford police arrested Ryan Curtis Barnes and charged him with assault. The 29-year-old suspect, who reportedly knew Simpson, was lodged in the Jackson County jail on $1 million bail.

First-degree assault carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 7 years, 6 months, per Oregon law.

Witnesses in the South Oakdale and Dakota avenues area told investigators the whereabouts of Barnes after the stabbing. During their investigation, Medford police detectives discovered the suspect and victim knew each other but had gotten into some kind of disturbance inside the Dakota Avenue residence.

Police were on the scene one minute after the 4:20 p.m. call came in.

Danny Clark, who is a neighborhood watch captain, said he didn't know either the suspect or victim, but saw a lot of police cars, and the area was cordoned off.

He said the apartment complex where the stabbing took place has only had minor problems recently, mostly just reports of loud music.

"It used to have a big problem with drugs and alcohol over there," he said.

Clark, who lives across the street, said the property management company that runs the apartments always has been cooperative in the past and has dealt with any problems quickly. The neighborhood keeps an eye on situations and tries to get a handle on them, he said.

"No matter how hard you try, there is always going to be something like that," he said. "It's unfortunate."

Medford police urge anyone with any information about the stabbing to call Det. Justin Ivens at 541-774-2230.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, or e-mail

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