Suspect in Jackson motel stabbing appears in court

Jackson, Tenn. — A man accused of stabbing his co-worker at a motel in Jackson appeared in court Monday. The victim’s father said his son is still in critical condition in the ICU.


Rodney Kiefner

Rodney Kiefner, 26, was formally charged Monday with attempted first-degree murder in Jackson City Court. He’s accused of stabbing a co-worker May 19 at the Super 8 motel on the Highway 45 Bypass.

“I see a bunch of police out here with the lights on,” Wayne Johnson, a hotel guest, said. “They was on the same side as I, so I seen a bunch of caution tape.”

Johnson is staying at the Super 8. He said he was not there when the stabbing happened but had seen the suspect and victim around the motel. “They was making a little noise, but we all do sometimes,” Johnson said.

A co-worker told police he woke up as the victim screamed for help, according to an affidavit. Police said they found Kiefner in the motel room covered in blood over the victim, Jonathan Rutan.

Police said Rutan went to the hospital with stab wounds and lacerations to his throat, abdomen, arms and hands.

Investigators said they found a bloody folding knife on the bed. A co-worker told police Kiefner was sharpening a knife before the attack, according to an affidavit.

Johnson said the incident does not bother him but that he is glad police made an arrest. “I’m going to still stay here,” he said. “It’s cool.”

Officers said Kiefner also purchased bleach, rubber gloves and stain remover prior to the stabbing.

Court documents indicated the suspect and victim are from out of state and in town for work.

Kiefner is being held at the Madison County Jail in lieu of a $150,000 bond. He is set to return to court at 9:30 a.m. June 2.

Categories: Crime, Local News, News, Video