50ºF

UT stabbing suspect Kendrex White speaks with KSAT sister station from jail

AUSTIN – The man accused in a deadly stabbing at the University of Texas at Austin campus last week spoke exclusively with KSAT's sister station in Houston, KPRC2 from jail Tuesday.

"I'm doing OK. The facility is nice," Kendrex J. White told KPRC2 during a 25-minute conversation.

White, 21, has been sitting inside the Travis County Jail for more than a  week after being arrested and accused of stabbing three people on campus.  White spoke exclusively to KPRC 2 News on Tuesday afternoon through video conferencing about the day and what he remembers.

"I walked around campus a little bit, just kind of enjoying the ambiance. It was weird because no one noticed me," White said.

He said he almost felt invisible. No one acknowledged him, even after he pulled out the knife.

EXCLUSIVE: WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE

"I pulled out my knife. My heart started beating really fast and no one moved and then I struck a table and no one acknowledged that I did that. They kept going on with their conversations," White said.

He told KPRC2 he has no memory of stabbing anyone. It was like a dream to him.

"I had a dream. It showed my face and I thought maybe it was possible I could have done it, but I didn't remember doing it myself, if that makes any sense," White said.

White is charged with murder. UT student Harrison Brown died after being stabbed, and three other students, including Stuart Bayliss, from Katy, were injured.

During the 25-minute interview he talked about mental illness and admitted to being treated for it in the past.

"I am hearing slight voices and it's really weird," he said.  "I talked to one of my lawyer's doctors and they went to evaluate me and said I might have epilepsy and schizophrenia and I might need mental health counseling."

"You don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to see that he is setting up, with this interview, defenses based on mental disease, mental defect and diminished capacity," KPRC 2 legal analysist Brian Wice said.

White said he carried a knife on campus for protection.

"I know a lot of my friends carry guns because there's open carry on campus and I was feeling like I should be a little more protected."

White said he's sorry for what happened. He never thought his mental illness would lead him down this path.

"I do know. I have had problems with my mind, but I didn't think it would be to the point of interaction with someone, lethal interaction," White said.

"I think if I am found guilty I deserve it. They did say I may get the death penalty and if it's true then maybe I do have to pay the price for these crimes."

White's attorney released a statement Wednesday that read:

"The lawyers and family of Kendrex White are greatly disheartened by the video release of a jail interview yesterday by TV station KPRC. The video was conducted by teleconference in the psychiatric ward of the Travis County Jail facility. It is unclear whether Ms. Bauer, the reporter, recorded the videoconference without the knowledge of Mr. White. Furthermore, he lacked the mental capacity to understand the purpose or nature of that interview. Mr. White was not afforded the same protections that any person suffering from mental illness should be afforded under the circumstances. This reporter's reckless actions have now compromised the opportunity for the victims, their families, and everyone affected by this case a chance for a fair and just trial. As advocates for our community, we would like to send a strong message to Ms. Bauer and all media outlets, that taking advantage of a mentally ill person under any circumstance is unconscionable and cannot be tolerated. Our Constitution affords everyone, even those suffering from mental illness, the right to counsel, the right to remain silent, and the right to a a fair trial. The lawyers have grave concerns that Ms. Bauer's careless actions have violated the very fundamental rights we all have as citizens of the United States."

KPRC2 released the following statement in response to what White's lawyers had to say:

"On Tuesday May 9th, KPRC2 aired excerpts from a jailhouse interview with murder suspect Kendrex White.  In response to a statement released by his attorneys, KPRC2 stands behind the story, its accuracy, and the journalists involved.  The full recordings show KPRC was very transparent with Mr. White that he was speaking to a journalist and he had the option to not answer any question he did  not feel comfortable with. If Mr. White's legal counsel felt he was not fit to make those decisions for himself, there are standard procedures to ensure interviews are not allowed.  His counsel had the means to execute the 'no interview' protocol and they did not do that. In the absence of that restriction, any media organization is able to request the interview and corrections officials are within their rights to grant it."