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Suspect confesses on 69 News to stabbing death in downtown Reading

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 11 2013 02:48:07 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 08 2013 09:39:53 AM CST

Alleged killer confesses to stabbing to 69 News

READING, Pa. -

"He swung a knife ... and I snapped out," said accused killer Raymond Searles, Jr.

A chilling confession came from the mouth of an accused killer, and it was all caught exclusively by our 69 News cameras. 

Searles is accused of killing another man with a knife in the heart of downtown Reading just after 2 p.m. Thursday. Police immediately arrested Searles , 42, of Reading, at the scene.

A witness tried to stop the killing by firing shots into the air, but it was too late, investigators said.

When police tried to find out exactly what happened, they said the suspect refused to speak without his attorney present.

When our 69 News cameras were rolling, however, Searles not only confessed but gave a detailed, blow-by-blow account of what happened.

The suspect maintained he's innocent.  He said a man was trying to stab him so he had to defend himself.

"Why did you stab the victim?" WFMZ's Dwayne Parker asked.

"Because he tried to kill me. He threatened to kill me in a bar, and when he swung a knife at me, I snapped out," said Searles.

The altercation between the victim and the accused killer is believed to have started in Maria's Restaurant and Lounge in the 400 block of Penn Street.

A witness, police said, was seen running down the street firing shots in the air trying to break up the altercation.

"I met him outside, last chance interventions, you know what I mean? I was heated, he was heated, he threatened to kill me," said Searles.

"And what was the fight over," Parker asked.

"Then I snapped out," said Searles.

During the extended confession it wasn't easy to get to the bottom of what exactly started the fight.

But as he was being hauled away, the accused killer continued to profess his innocence.

Video

"The individual didn't know me. He had a problem with and he just used me, the way I see it, he used me as a how you say, ah, a chip... a front," said Searles.

Police have not yet identified the victim.

Since the suspect was so candid with 69 News, the police have asked for a video copy of this confession.

Searles is facing a long list of charges, including homicide.