Suspect in campus stabbing says in outburst he is no killer

FORT VALLEY, Ga. (AP) — In a profanity-laced courtroom outburst, a former college student accused of stabbing a freshman to death and wounding a security officer said he is not a killer.

Joseph Anthony Scott Jr., 25, faces a murder charge in the Tuesday killing of 19-year-old Donnell Phelps at Fort Valley State University.

"I understand you all are looking at me like a killer, or whatever," Scott said, turning away from the judge at Thursday's court hearing to speak to court officials and reporters in the room. "I'm not a (expletive) killer!"

Scott turned back toward Peach County Magistrate Judge Lauren C. Lee and said, "I'm sorry," The Telegraph reported ( ).

Police say Scott was harassing and groping three young women near the school cafeteria, and Phelps came to their aid by trying to intervene. Scott then headed toward the main gate of the campus, where police say he stabbed security officer Ernest Johnson. He survived.

Johnson has returned home from the hospital, but will need additional time to recover from his injuries, Fort Valley State Police Chief Kenneth Morgan said.

Flags are flying at half-staff outside state buildings and grounds in Georgia in memory of Phelps.

Phelps will be remembered for the "heroic actions he displayed through aiding and preventing the assault and possible deaths of three women," Gov. Nathan Deal wrote in an executive order to lower flags until sunset Friday.

In court on Thursday, Scott told the judge that he hasn't seen a lawyer yet. He also complained repeatedly that he had yet to see a nurse, but didn't mention any injuries he might have. He also told the judge that he turns 25 on Friday.