Monroe man found guilty of murder, felonious assault in stabbing death of roommate


Peyton McFarland was found guilty of murder and felonious assault by a Butler County grand jury.

McFarland is accused of stabbing to death his roommate last May in Monroe.

The jury started delibrations around 3:30 p.m. Friday and came back with a verdict nearly three hours later.


A man accused of killing his roommate last May at their home in Monroe took the witness stand Friday and told the jury he was scared when a disagreement over dishes in the sink escalated and he thought he was going to die.

Peyton McFarland is charged with murder and felonious assault for the May 30 death of Christopher Hacker at their Sands Avenue residence.

Hacker was stabbed five times with a 7-inch knife, including two wounds in the back. One stab wound from a knife attached to a battle ax hit Hacker’s aorta, causing the fatal injury, according to Butler County Assistant Prosecutor Jon Marshall.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

McFarland, 21, testified he was afraid of Hacker, who was his sister’s boyfriend and often was violent with her.

McFarland said he was playing video games in his bedroom, which was locked, when both his sister and father, who was visiting, knocked and told him to wash a stack of dishes in the sink. He said he refused because it was not his responsibility.

Later when alone in the house, Hacker pounded on the bedroom door and yelled “do the (expletive) dishes” and threatened to break the door down, McFarland said. “I was scared. I wanted to de-escalate the situation so I said I would do the dishes at a later time.”

McFarland continued to play video games before the internet connection went out and he said he stepped out of the room to check the modem.

Hacker was standing in the doorway red in the face and “scary-looking,” McFarland said. “He said I will (expletive) you up.”

That’s when McFarland grabbed what he described as a fantasy weapon that is an ax with a knife that screws into it.

McFarland’s voice choked as he recalled Hacker walking toward him.

“I was frightened, very frightened for my life, “ McFarland said, stating Hacker managed to get the ax from him. “He raised the ax in the air. I thought I was going to die and I decided either I die at that point or I would live. I stabbed him.”

He said he stabbed Hacker until he stopped walking toward him.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

During cross-examination, assistant prosecutor Jon Marshall demonstrated how it takes some effort to unscrew the knife from the ax and asked McFarland how Hacker was able to get both away from his possession.

“I don’t know. It was very fast,” McFarland said.

“I guess like a magician,” Marshall responded. The prosecution also noted there were no injuries to McFarland after the incident, noting redness under the eye was “pink eye” and a mark on McFarland’s cheek was actually a pimple.

After stabbing Hacker, McFarland took the knife and ax outside and waited for the police. He called 911 and said, “I attacked my roommate … come and arrest me.”

Marshall also pointed out during cross-examination that McFarland, who was in his locked room, did not call anyone for help when Hacker allegedly pounded on the door trying to break it down.

On Tuesday, Monroe Police Officer Dan Pratt, who transported McFarland from the scene to the Butler County Jail, testified during the car ride McFarland said, “I (expletive) up.”

The jury was expected to begin deliberations Friday afternoon.


The jury in the Peyton McFarland trial could render a decision after the Journal-News deadline. We’ll update this story on

About the Authors