Ex-Mpls. teacher pleads guilty to attacking stepson with ax

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 19, 2014 - 9:00 PM

A former fourth-grade teacher in Minneapolis pleaded guilty Monday to attacking his stepson with an ax.

Mark R. James, 62, of St. Paul pleaded guilty in Ramsey County District Court to second-degree assault. James originally was charged with first- and second-degree attempted murder for the attack in February.

According to the charges: James’ stepson called police from a neighbor’s home to report that James hit him in the face with an ax, cutting him near his left eye.

The stepson’s toddler son was in a crib in the room at the time.

The stepson said James woke him up and told him to get out of the house. The stepson said he tried to reason with James, but James jabbed him in the shoulder and face with the ax, the complaint said.

James told police, “I swung the ax at him and I wanted to kill [him] and I missed.”

The stepson and his wife and two sons had moved in with his mother and James in October. They planned to move out at the end of February.

James was angry at his stepson for charging $150 on James’ credit card weeks earlier, James’ wife told police.

James was a fourth-grade teacher at Anishinabe Academy in Minneapolis and was placed on administrative leave when he was charged. He resigned from the district April 7, said district spokeswoman Larissa Mavros.

James is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 1.

CHAO XIONG

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