WILKES-BARRE — A man charged in the fatal stabbing of Kurt Swan, a local homeless man, was himself stabbed by another homeless man in the same wooded area where Swan’s body was discovered late last month.
Court records and archived reports show Daniel Holtslander, 38, was stabbed in the arm by Jimmie Lee Carrier in a fight over $100 in August 2011. Records show Holtslander’s attacker pleaded no contest to simple assault and was sentenced to two years probation.
Holtslander was arrested and charged late Thursday with criminal homicide in the death of Swan, a man court papers say Holtslander considered a “friend,” after police discovered him at a residence on North Hancock Street.
Swan’s body was discovered June 25 behind the Kmart in the Mark Plaza in Edwardsville in a wooded area that borders Toby Creek, not far from where police were called to investigate a report of a stabbing on Aug. 16, 2011.
When they arrived at the 2011 incident, Holtslander said Carrier, then 28, began to fight with him over the money. He said he grabbed Carrier by the backpack, but Carrier got away. When Holtslander tried to grab Carrier again, he noticed his forearm was bleeding and Carrier was holding a knife.
Court records show Carrier, who court papers identified as being homeless at the time, was ordered to pay Holtslander $1,716 in restitution and not to have any contact with him.
Holtslander, in an unrelated case, pleaded guilty to theft charges in September 2012 and was sentenced to a year probation after police said he used a blow torch to cut up scrap metal from a dumpster belonging to Falzone’s Towing in Wilkes-Barre.
A receipt obtained by police showed Holtslander scrapped 1,660 lbs. of prepared steel, the same material the dumpster is made of, the complaint says. He told police he didn’t know the dumpster was on private property and that it was already damaged when he arrived.
Witnesses said they noticed Holtslander’s Chevrolet truck in the area several times in the days leading up to the incident and notified the property owner, who called police.
The vehicle was the same make as the truck Holtslander said he slept “weaponized” in as Swan allegedly climbed inside and crawled towards him the night he was killed. Holtslander told investigators he “lashed out” and stabbed Swan with a pair of knives.
According to a police affidavit, Holtslander explained to investigators he cleared the scene and burned anything with blood on it, including Swan’s clothing. He said he laid Swan’s body onto a tarp and pushed it over an embankment and then set fire to the tarp. Holtslander said he remained there until the fire went out, before traveling to the North Hancock Street residence, where he took apart the knives and cleaned them.
According to the affidavit, a confidential informant confirmed to police that Holtslander regularly wore two sheathed fixed-blade knives – one on each side of his body. Holtslander allegedly asked the informant how long it takes for a body to decompose, saying he may have killed someone who tried to steal from the back of his truck.
Reach Joe Dolinsky at 570-991-6110 or on Twitter @JoeDolinskyTL