A woman accused of fatally stabbing her boyfriend on New Year's Eve made her first appearance in court Thursday morning. 21 year old Michaela L. Herpstreith appeared in custody in front of Judge Brad T. Paisley and was officially charged with two counts of murder with intent to injure/kill for the stabbing death of 40 year old Jason R. Bright. Both charges are class M Felonies. Herpstreith faces 20-60 years with 3 years of mandatory supervised release. She would have to serve the whole sentence.
Herpstreith asked for the public defender. Gregory Grigsby, who is the acting public defender until they hire another PD, announced that he had a connection to Bright, but since Bright was deceased it wouldn’t be an issue anymore. It was still disclosed to the court, and Grigsby acknowledged that he had no knowledge of any negative information and it wouldn’t hurt the case at all.
Judge Paisley also announced that they would be hiring a new public defender within the next few weeks, so it wouldn’t be Grigsby handling the case after that. Judge Paisley asked State’s Attorney Mike Havera for probable cause.
Havera stated during the probable cause that the Taylorville Police received a call at 1:08 PM on December 31 to 1015 East Adams Street. When police arrived there, Bright was found laying on the deck in a pool of blood. When police started medically treating him, Bright stated that Herpstreith stabbed him. This was corroborated by witnesses who confirmed the incident occurred at 1005 East Adams Street. When police searched the location, they found blood on the porch and entryway.
Police received information that Herpstreith had fled to Hillcrest Trailer Park. When Herpstreith was spotted she approached with her hands up and police found on her a spring-loaded knife that had blood both on the handle and the blade. Herpstreith was taken in without incident and told police that she had used it to stab Bright. She later told police she “wanted to kill him.”
Probable cause was found and a bond hearing was set for Friday, January 3rd to give Grigsby time to meet with Herpstreith. When Herpstreith asked the court when she would be able to tell her side of the story, Judge Paisley assured she would have time to do so, but warned her against speaking out about it until she had talked to Public Defender Grigsby.
Herpstreith will appear in Christian County Court Friday, January 3rd for a bond hearing.