Accused Strip Club Murder in Court

Submitted By: Liz Cooper, lcooper@k2tv.com

The suspect in the murder outside Racks Strip Club in Natrona County appeared in court this afternoon. John Knospler is charged with second degree murder of James Baldwin. 33 year old John Knospler is accused of shooting a 24 year old James Baldwin, who was reported to be celebrating his birthday at tracks off 20-26 in Natrona County late Thursday night.

Knospler, who is an ex-marine, served three tours in Iraq, is claiming self defense. He is originally from Pennsylvania and was on a hunting trip with his dad.
His lawyer told the court, the man Knospler allegedly shot was attempting to enter his car outside the club. A bouncer from the bar claims multiple patrons were complaining about Knospler...who was bragging about killing people and being over in third world countries, the night of the murder.

James Baldwin, the man killed, was falling asleep at the bar and was asked to leave, according to court documents. Baldwin had reportedly told the bouncer a friend was driving him and walked outside. The club employee continued that he saw baldwin approach a vehicle and thought it was the friend giving Baldwin a ride home. The bouncer told police, he saw Baldwin 'jerk' twice as he was leaning into the drivers side of the car and then fall to the ground. Knospler drove off and was later stopped by authorities. He stated to deputies, "I think you know what happened" and repeated over and over "I only acted in self defense."

The state requested Knospler's bond to be set at $1 Million dollars. However, the defense argued a lower bond because Knospler is a veteran and claims to have acted in self defense. Judge Patchen set his bond at $500,000 for his second degree murder charge.