ST. PAUL — After arriving at an apartment on a report of a domestic dispute earlier this week, St. Paul police found a woman motionless on the ground with injuries to her face and a man nearby covered in blood, according to charges filed Thursday, Feb. 27.

A 2-year-old’s cries led officers to the apartment door after a tenant let them into the building on the 300 block of Pierce Street.

A 911 caller had reported hearing a man and woman arguing in a dispute that sounded “physical and very violent,” according to the complaint filed in Ramsey County.

As officers made their way upstairs, they heard a man say “Stay down or I’ll kill you” as a child cried.

Those details are included in the criminal complaint charging Terrion Lamar Sherman, 23, with second-degree murder in Abigail Elise Simpson’s death.

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Simpson, 21, was pronounced dead at the scene. The child, found next to her when officers gained entry to the unit, had blood on his face, torso, pants and shoes, but was not seriously injured.

Complaint: Sherman went to kitchen, grabbed knife

Sherman’s relationship to Simpson is not yet clear, though a 2017 St. Paul police report that involved Sherman referred to her as his girlfriend.

Sherman told investigators who interviewed him after his arrest that the boy was his nephew, court documents say.

He went on to say that the boy had become possessed “as a dog” at the apartment and that he told him Simpson was “really a guy,” the complaint said. Simpson also told him she was a guy, Sherman told officers. The two started arguing and that Simpson eventually went to the kitchen and grabbed a knife, the complaint said.

Sherman said Simpson came at him with the knife, prompting him to repeatedly punch her head against a nearby cast iron radiator, according to the criminal charges. He blacked out after that, he told officers, and said he didn’t remember stabbing her.

A medical examiner determined Simpson died from multiple traumatic injuries inflicted during an assault, including stab and incision wounds to her head, face, neck and extremities, the criminal complaint said.

Defendant to investigators: 'I'm not crazy'

Sherman broke out a rear window in the squad car that was transporting him to the law enforcement center after his arrest and said he was on drugs, leading officers to transfer him to an ambulance that took him to Regions Hospital to be evaluated, according to the complaint.

He made comments about “hitting the dog” and “punching her head off” while hospitalized, but was eventually “medically cleared” and taken to police headquarters, according to the complaint.

He told investigators who asked him whether he took any medication or drugs that while he was prescribed medications, he didn’t take them because “he is not crazy,” the complaint said.

He denied using any other drugs.

No attorney was listed for Sherman in court records.

History of civil commitment, criminal activity

Sherman was civilly committed last Thursday for mental illness and chemical dependency issues, according to Ramsey County District Court records.

The commitment order states he suffers from “an organic disorder of the brain or a substantial psychiatric disorder … which grossly impairs judgement, behavior, capacity to recognize reality or to reason or understand, … (which is) manifested by instances of grossly disturbing behavior or faulty perceptions and poses a substantial likelihood of physical harm to self or others.”

The order, which was a re-commitment as Sherman had been previously civilly committed in 2019, did not require that Sherman be held in a secure hospital, but instead connected him with various services provided by county management services, according to staff in the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.

Sherman also has pending criminal cases against him, including one for first-degree aggravated robbery and a second for fourth-degree assault of a peace officer.

In the former, he is accused of punching an employee at a Family Dollar store in Maplewood in August of 2018 who tried to stop him from stealing, court records say.

In the latter, he lit a shoe on fire on a neighbor’s patio and then spit at a police officer, charges say.

The resident who reported the incident told police that Sherman is a “K2 user who frequently causes problems in the neighborhood,” the complaint said. K2 is a synthetic form of marijuana.

That incident also took place in August of 2018.

Sherman has not entered a plea in either of the pending cases.

Mara H. Gottfried contributed to this report.