Charges: Drunk Mounds View brothers' fight led to fatal stabbing

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 2, 2012 - 10:49 PM

"What am I, the bad guy?" the murder suspect asked police.

Jay H. Hilling

Photo: Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, Ramsey County Sheriff's Office

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Two Mounds View brothers were drinking and quarreling before one allegedly stabbed the other in the heart.

Jay H. Hilling, 56, was charged with second-degree murder Thursday in Ramsey County District Court in the fatal stabbing of Michael S. Hilling, 51. Jay Hilling was given a breath test and had an alcohol content of 0.15, and his brother had a blood-alcohol-content of 0.32, according to the complaint.

Police were called at 10:33 p.m. Tuesday to a house in the 2600 block of Lake Court Drive, where the brothers lived with their 77-year-old mother. Michael Hilling was dead on the floor, lying on his back in a hall, a kitchen knife in one hand and a blood-soaked towel on his chest. Jay Hilling's hands were covered in blood.

"What am I, the bad guy?" Jay Hilling asked as he was arrested. "Michael came at me. I don't know what happened."

Their mother told police that the brothers were quarreling but that she could not make out any of the words. She was in her bedroom at the time. Michael opened the bedroom door and said, "Jay stabbed me," according to the complaint.

Michael collapsed and Jay called 911. Their mother told police that the knife that officers later found in Michael's hand had been 6 feet away from him after the stabbing.

She also told police that the two men often fought.

Mounds View Police Chief Tom Kinney said authorities have been called to the house dozens of times over the years. Court records show that Jay Hilling has a history of drunken driving. His brother had a longer record of violent offenses, such as domestic assault, and drunken driving, among others.

According to the complaint: Jay Hilling told police that his brother came into his room with a knife and they began arguing. He could not say what they were arguing about. The men struggled, but Jay Hilling said he wasn't sure how Michael Hilling was wounded.

Jay admitted taking the knife from Michael at one point. He said his brother stabbed him, and that Michael was holding the knife when he fell.

Jay had a small cut to his left palm. Autopsy results show that Michael died from a stab wound to the chest.

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708 Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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