Alleged gang member pleads guilty to stabbing Duluth girl in heart

By KBJR News 1

December 11, 2013 Updated Dec 11, 2013 at 6:28 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A Cloquet man has pleaded guilty to stabbing a girl in the heart last October as part of gang-related activity.

Donald William Laquier Jackson, 26, entered the unexpected guilty plea Monday in Duluth's State District Court.

Laquier Jackson pleaded guilty to counts of first and second degree assault, aiding and abetting. The plea came one day before the case was scheduled to go to trial.

Had the case gone to trial, Laquier Jackson could have been facing more serious charges of attempted 2nd degree murder.

Laquier Jackson and 17–year–old Norman Cutbank the third are accused of taking part in stabbing a 17–year old girl in the heart and beating her and an 18–year–old boy who came to her rescue in Duluth's Central Hillside last October.

In court Wednesday, Dr. Kevin marble, the emergency room doctor who treated the girl after the stabbing testified as to the nature of the victim's injuries.

Upon arrival to the hospital, doctors only knew that she had been assaulted with a baseball bat.

The girl's blood pressure dropped fast and she was struggling to breathe and doctors knew something more was wrong and they began looking for the problem, that's when they found a stab wound to chest.

Marble, an emergency room doctor at St Lukes testified that the team had to put tubes down the girl's throat, and when doctors did so, they completely lost a pulse and the girl was technically dead.

Doctors had to cut open her chest and remove blood and blood clots.

She had a laceration on her heart that had to be sewed shut.

Judge John DeSanto has accepted the plea, and has asked the state to submit a written response as to whether they've met the burden of proof for a longer-than-guideline sentence. According to Prosecutor Kristen Swanson, the request for a larger sentence is based off Laquier Jackson's criminal history, and severity of the girl's injuries.

Judge John DeSanto has accepted the plea, and asked the state to submit a written response as to whether they've met the burden of proof for a longer-than-guideline sentence.

According to Prosecutor Kristen Swanson, the request for a stiffer sentence is based on Laquier Jackson's criminal history, and the severity of the girl's injuries.

Laquier Jackson will be sentenced on January 22.

Billy Wagness
bwagness@kbjr.com

Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com

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