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Stabbing victim in serious condition
0806 Joseph Harris
Joseph Harris

A Clyo man was critically injured early Sunday morning when he was stabbed by a man who lives on his property.

Joseph Harris, 59, was arrested after stabbing Dennis Whitman, 55, in the abdomen with a knife during an argument. Whitman was airlifted to Memorial Health University Medical Center with injuries described as life-threatening.

The two men “were arguing throughout the overnight and early-morning hours” prior to Harris stabbing Whitman, said Effingham County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor. However, the sheriff’s office was not notified until several hours later, when a neighbor called.

“It may have been 6-7 hours before we were called,” Ehsanipoor said. “He was basically laying there bleeding to death.”

Harris lives in a camper in Whitman’s back yard on the 200 block of Morgan Cemetery Road, according to the ECSO. Investigators are not sure why the men were arguing.

“They are acquaintances. It was not a random act,” Ehsanipoor said. “We don’t know what the argument was about, but we do know they had been drinking.”

Harris was arrested Sunday afternoon and charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime. He is being held in the Effingham County Jail.

The case remains under investigation by the ECSO’s Criminal Investigations Division.