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Vicente Perez Makes First Court Appearance, Details of Stabbing Emerge

Vicente Perez covered in blood outside the Taj poker roomVicente Perez (at right in photo), the 57-year-old poker player from Macon, Ga., who is accused of stabbing and killing Arthur Prince, 61, outside the poker room at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, made his first court appearance this morning before the Superior Court Judge in Mays Landing. The charges against him include the first degree offense of aggravated manslaughter, which carries a sentence of 10 to 30 years in New Jersey. Even if the charges are lessened to plain ole manslaughter, Perez could still face anywhere between five to 10 years in a New Jersey prison.

Present in the court this morning were Perez's wife, two adult daughters and a brother, according to The Press of Atlantic City. The judge kept bail at $500,000 "full cash," and Perez's lawyer told the judge that he will file a bail application later today on his client's behalf.

Based on the eyewitness accounts we are hearing and reading from people who were there, Perez will no doubt argue self-defense if prosecutors move forward with the charges. Some eyewitnesses are saying that Prince was the initial aggressor, attacking Perez with a cane that the latter used to walk.

After the jump is a recap of the incident compiled from what we've heard. Obviously, the details alleged below are hearsay and may not be accurate, as all of the facts have yet to fully come out as to what actually took place between the two . . .

- Arthur Prince, a Taj regular from Berkely, NJ, went broke at a 1/2 NL table inside the poker room and asked the players there to hold his seat while he went to the ATM to draw more cash

- When he came back, Vicente Perez was in his seat; apparently the dealer didn't hear Prince aks for his seat to be held

- Prince and Perez argue about the seat, with them saying something about "taking it outside"

- The floor comes over and says Perez gets to keep the seat

- With the seat locked, Perez soon thereafter gets up and leaves to smoke a cigarette, which pisses Prince off even more

- Prince goes outside to confront Perez

- Fight breaks out between the two in the Taj valet area right outisde the poker room. The two push each other with Prince allegedly then yanking Perez's cane away from him and hitting him with the cane.

- Perez retaliates by pulling out a large knife he was carrying and stabs Prince several times, striking his left cheek, mid-back, left lower abdomen and left upper abdomen.

- Prince falls to the ground at the scene, spewing blood from the knife wounds. No word on where Taj security was at this time or if anyone began treating Prince immediately on the scene.

- Perez was also covered in blood but was still able to walk.

- Both men are taken to the hospital where Prince is declared dead due to massive blood loss from his carotid artery being severed by Perez's knife

For the latest on the story and photos from the scene once paramedics arrived, visit The Press of Atlantic City.

Photo above courtesy of The Press of Atlantic City

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