Suspect acquitted in fatal stabbing of Wis. man

Published 10:09 am Tuesday, December 15, 2015

BALSAM LAKE, Wis. — Jurors on Monday acquitted a young Minnesota man who said he was acting in self-defense when he fatally stabbed a Wisconsin fisherman who had confronted him and his friends along a river last spring.

In its third day of deliberations, the jury in northwestern Wisconsin returned not guilty verdicts on all three homicide charges against Levi Acre-Kendall, 20, in Polk County Circuit Court.

Acre-Kendall, of Cambridge, Minnesota, was acquitted of second-degree intentional homicide and first- and second-degree reckless homicide. The defendant testified he feared for his life when he stabbed 34-year-old Peter Kelly, a father of five from St. Croix Falls, as Kelly dragged him from a vehicle.

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After the verdicts were read, defense attorney Eric Nelson said his client was in “disbelief,” the Star Tribune reported. The defendant’s mother, Lavonne Acre, cried out when her son was acquitted.

“There were no winners in this case — only survivors,” Nelson said. “Also, no one should consider the verdict as condoning of the poor decisions made by Mr. Acre-Kendall or anyone else at the time surrounding this tragic event.”