Elizabeth Ann Archer, 30, asked Judge Stacy Street for a court-appointed attorney. In the affidavit of indigency asking for representation, Archer indicated she can’t find a job because of the media coverage of the case.
Archer was arrested July 9 after giving a statement to Johnson City Police investigators about stabbing Jeremy Mounts, 29, in their East Chestnut Street home after they had a political argument over drinks with her brother that had continued after they went to bed.
During her arraignment Tuesday, Street found Archer “partially indigent” and appointed the public defender’s office to represent her. But he also tagged on a $4,000 fee for that representation, partly because she’s free on a $5,000 bond — money she said her brother borrowed. She also owns a $21,000 vehicle she’s trying to sell, Archer told the judge.
“Four thousand dollars is not a lot for someone to represent you on a second degree murder charge,” Street said.
According to court documents, Archer, Mounts and her brother, John Archer, all had three shots of vodka that night to celebrate a new job for John Archer and his moving to Virginia. The three had a conversation that included a political debate which ended with them “agreeing to disagree.”
Around 10:30 or 11 p.m., Mounts took a shower and he and Archer went to bed, she told police.
“She said that they could not quite turn loose of their discussion or debate from earlier and their arguing continued in bed. She said the argument turned physical in bed with both ending up on the floor,” Investigator Joey Whitlock wrote in a court affidavit.
Archer told police that Mounts got on top of her, held her down by the throat and choked her. She said she was able to get away and then Mounts left the bedroom and went to John Archer’s bedroom. She followed Mounts, but on the way stopped in the kitchen to retrieve a knife.
As they stood in a bedroom doorway, Archer said she confronted Mounts and told him he needed to get out of the house.
“She said it was unclear at that point as to what happened, but she does know that she stabbed Jeremy Mounts one time in the lower right side. She said she had been in nursing school and knew to apply pressure to the wound until help arrived,” Whitlock wrote in the document.
Mounts was transported to Johnson City Medical Center, where he died during surgery.
Archer is due back in court Dec. 12. Street said the defense should have any motions filed in the case by then.
Police: Man dies after girlfriend stabs him with large knife during argument
Court record: Three shots of liquor, political argument led to Johnson City killing