Eric Bent

Eric Bent, 31, of Ohio and North Carolina, has been arrested on one-count of second-degree murder and three counts of malicious wounding, Cpl. M.S. Horn, with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, said.

PRINCETON — One man is dead, three are injured and another is in custody after a Saturday morning stabbing attack at a reputed drug house on the outskirts of Princeton, officials said.

Eric Bent, 31, of Ohio and North Carolina, has been arrested on one-count of second-degree murder and three counts of malicious wounding, Cpl. M.S. Horn, with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, said.

Horn said the attack occurred at 208 Cabell Street, a residence known as “a local drug house.”

The suspect, Bent, known to live in neighboring states, “ended up in Princeton,” Horn said.

Horn said Bent and the four victims were at the Cabell Street house, where one of the victims lived, “hanging out and doing drugs.”

“From what I can gather an altercation took place over drugs,” Horn said. “He (Bent) then stabbed four people.”

Freddie O’dell, 57, of Princeton, was killed in the attack, Horn said. The three other victims were also of Princeton.

Horn said authorities were notified of the incident when a call came in to Mercer County 911 at 6:44 a.m.

The call came from a Webster Street address, where one of the victims ran for help.

Meanwhile, the suspect also went to the Webster Street address and stole the car of the homeowner where the victim was calling for help, Horn said.

Horn said Bent took off in the vehicle, wrecked it in the Brick Street area near Custom Manufacturing Services and then fled on foot.

Deputies and members of the Princeton Police Department converged on the region with a K-9 unit and were preparing to track the suspect when he emerged from the area and was taken into custody.

As the situation played out, Horn said a second stabbing victim was in the vicinity of the Pepsi Plant covered in blood and attempting to flag down motorists for help. He was picked up by an individual in a private vehicle and taken to Princeton Community Hospital.

When deputies arrived at the scene of the crime, they found the deceased victim, O’dell, at the residence.

While processing the scene, Horn said deputies were alerted to a fourth victim — Robert “Bob” Fuller, 65, the owner of the residence — who was in the yard at a nearby house. 

“He (Fuller) was sitting in a chair outside a neighbor’s house covered in blood,” Horn said.

Horn said one victim was transported to Charleston Area Medical Center while the other two were being treated at Princeton Community Hospital. 

“They were all stabbed multiple times in the head and face,” Horn said. “The deceased individual was stabbed once in the chest, once by the clavicle and five times in the back.”

Despite the severity of the injuries, Horn said doctors expect the surviving victims will live.

Bent is currently incarcerated at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver.

— Contact Samantha Perry at sperry@bdtonline.com.

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