Suspect in stabbing outside Young Avenue Deli arrested

Jason Underwood

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —The man accused of nearly stabbing a man to death outside a Cooper-Young bar was arrested overnight, and a relative of the victim says she did some detective work on her own before the arrest.

Jason Underwood was charged with attempted first-degree murder. The 37-year-old Olive Branch man had been on the run since Saturday night when police say he got into a heated argument inside Young Avenue Deli.

The men got into a physical altercation inside the bar and were separated. Underwood walked outside, but according to police, he didn’t leave.

Several minutes later when the other man left the business, Underwood was waiting for him outside. Underwood ran toward him and began punching him in the head and chest.

That’s when Underwood took out a knife and stabbed the man in the chest.

Witnesses said the man lost so much blood they didn’t know if he’d survive the attack. He was rushed to the Regional Medical Center in extremely critical condition.

A family member identified the victim as James Martin and said his condition has improved.

“This is somebody’s husband, somebody’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s daddy,” said a relative of Martin who did not want to be identified. “He has a two-year-old little girl that is just beginning life.”

During the search for Underwood, officers released his picture asking for information.

But as the days went by, Martin’s relative got tired of sitting around.

“I took it upon myself, yes I did,” Martin’s relative said. “Yesterday morning I decided I was going to go public on social media. I asked anyone. I didn’t care. I asked anyone that could possibly share, ‘Please. If you know this man, contact me.’ My phone blew up the whole day.”

She says people she never met reached out and gave her information.

“I went everywhere I could and where I knew he would hang out.”

Eventually she tracked him to a home and believes the pressure put on him helped put him away.

Officers called her until about 1:30 in the morning, she said, and verified that he did get turned in.

“He’s not out there no more.”

She’s looking ahead to justice in the judicial system and a strong recovery for her family member.

Underwood has a criminal record in Shelby County that includes arrests on charges of domestic assault and child abuse and neglect.

We went to an address listed for Underwood. The person there told us no comment.

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