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Police arrest Fargo stabbing suspect

A Chicago native was charged in Cass County District Court Wednesday with trying to rape and murder a Fargo woman. Shelby Ivan Charles Jr., 27, was staying at the woman's Westrac Drive apartment when he woke her about 2 a.m.

A Chicago native was charged in Cass County District Court Wednesday with trying to rape and murder a Fargo woman.

Shelby Ivan Charles Jr., 27, was staying at the woman's Westrac Drive apartment when he woke her about 2 a.m. Wednesday and demanded sex, court records say.

When the 20-year-old woman refused, she said Charles pulled a knife from his pocket.

"He stabbed me in the chest, then my face and was scraping my face with the knife as if he was cutting a potato," the woman told police in a written statement.

Charles is charged with attempted murder, attempted gross sexual imposition and violation of a no-contact order.

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On Nov. 4, he pleaded guilty in Cass County District Court to hitting the same woman and preventing her from calling for emergency help.

Judge Michael McGuire ordered Charles to complete 12 months of unsupervised probation. He also ordered Charles not to contact the woman.

Officers who responded to the woman's call for help early Wednesday say they found an apartment spotted with blood.

Officers reported the woman suffered from stab wounds to her chest, an arm and a leg. She also had cuts across her forehead and the back of her neck.

The woman was taken to Innovis Health, where she was treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Court records say:

John Lavesque was sleeping in another room when he woke to the sound of loud voices.

The 33-year-old Fargo man told police he pulled Charles off the woman. Lavesque said he believes Charles would have killed the woman otherwise.

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Charles left on foot. Police caught up with him about 15 minutes later near Fiechtner Drive and Fifth Avenue South.

During his initial court appearance Wednesday, Charles told Judge Frank Racek that he's lived in the Fargo area for about two months. He said he's a Chicago native, but has also lived in Minneapolis.

Assistant Cass County State's Attorney Trent Mahler said Charles has several criminal convictions in Hennepin County, including illegal possession of a handgun, drug possession and assault causing great bodily harm.

Mahler recommended that Charles' be required to post $1 million for his pretrial release.

"This was a vicious attack," Mahler said.

Racek set Charles bail at $250,000 cash only and scheduled his next court appearance for Jan. 29.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Zent at (701) 241-5526

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