Friend of USF player stabbed at Orpheum testifies

- Michael Smith was at club Orpheum in Ybor City the night his good friend, Elkino Watson was stabbed to death, prosecutors say by defendant Randolph Graham.

Watson was a former USF football player who had dreams of playing in the NFL. Smith and Watson were once teammates at USF but the two had become close.

The night of the fight, he says one minute he was waiting for Watson outside the club and the next he was jumping in the middle of the brawl.

"I can't name who was fighting when they came out. I was in the middle of a fight," explained Smith

During the second day of testimony, in a stand your ground hearing, Graham's attorneys argued he was in fear for his life and had no choice but to defend himself against a much bigger and stronger Watson.

Justin Stroud, a friend of Graham's, testified that he and Watson's girlfriend had a confrontation inside the club that led to the fight outside. He said Watson and his football friends jumped him, "surrounding me punching and kicking me."

But prosecutors say Graham wasn't in fear for his life. They say the surveillance video shown in court of the fight, proves you never see Graham struggling to get away.

Graham's focus, they say, was on fighting Elkino Watson.

After hearing two days of testimony, Hillsborough Chief Judge Ron Ficarrotta denied the defense's stand your ground motion. Graham's trial date has been set for November 13.

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