A 35-year-old Northeast Philadelphia man will stand trial for allegedly stabbing another man to death in December, then wrapping the body in carpeting and moving it into the garage behind his residence.
Joseph Wright Wilson of Wissinoming was charged with murder on Dec. 1, 2018, in the death of Egaddie Valentin. Following testimony from Philadelphia Police Detective Stephen Grace at a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Judge James M. DeLeon ruled there was enough evidence to move to trial.
Grace testified Tuesday that Wilson told police that on the night of Nov. 30 at his rented home in the 4000 block of Higbee Street, he saw an altercation between Valentin and a woman. Wilson said he broke up the argument and Valentin left the scene, but returned carrying a gun, which led to a struggle with Wilson.
“I was fighting for my life,” Wilson told police, saying he grabbed a large knife during the struggle and stabbed Valentin multiple times. After the stabbing, Wilson told police that he didn’t “really remember what happened,” Grace testified.
He did say that he remembered walking to the Delaware River at Comly Street and calmly throwing the gun into the water. He described the gun to police as “black, automatic, like the police carry.”
“Mr. Wilson claimed that he blacked out and doesn’t remember much beyond that," Grace said.
The next day, Wilson’s landlord visited the home to collect rent. After peeking inside and noticing ripped-up carpeting, the landlord reported suspicious activity to police.
During a search of the premises, police discovered Valentin’s body wrapped inside a rolled-up piece of blood-soaked carpet in a garage at the rear of the rowhouse.
Prosecutor Matthew Krouse said the Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Valentin died from multiple stab wounds, including to the head, neck, chest, and upper back.
Police later showed Wilson a photo of a large knife found inside the home, and he identified it as the weapon used in the attack.
Wilson is charged with murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, and related offenses. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.