Man charged with assault at St. Paul party

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 28, 2014 - 9:03 PM

One man was stabbed and his brother fatally shot during a dispute last weekend at a birthday celebration in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood, according to criminal charges filed Tuesday.

Leevester Rhodes, 24, address unknown, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with second-degree assault for allegedly stabbing Rico Jackson, 27, at a party for Jackson’s brother, Prince Pope, early Sunday.

Pope, 32, of St. Paul, died at the scene. Jackson was hospitalized and later released. Police arrested a second man in connection with the incident, but as of Tuesday, charges had yet to be filed in Pope’s death.

According to the criminal complaint:

Officers arrived at the duplex, located in the 500 block of Van Buren Avenue about 2 a.m. and found Pope face down in the snow.

Witnesses told police, who found spent casings in the hallway of the home, they heard several gunshots. Jackson, who was stabbed in the chest, abdomen and leg, was taken to Regions Hospital with noncritical injuries.

He told police he was celebrating Pope’s birthday in the basement when a younger sister arrived with her boyfriend — identified in police reports as the second suspect arrested — and Rhodes. The woman was wearing dark glasses to cover a black eye.

When another sister discovered the black eye, Pope went outside to talk to the boyfriend. During their talk, Rhodes tried to punch Pope. Jackson then shoved Rhodes, he said, and a scuffle ensued.

Jackson said the boyfriend grabbed him as Rhodes stabbed him. He fell down stairs and into the basement, then heard several gunshots.

The boyfriend, meanwhile, told police that after his girlfriend’s family confronted him about her black eye, he agreed to leave. He said that as he spoke with Pope, his girlfriend’s sister began hitting him. After the scuffle, he said, he and Rhodes ran to a relative’s house nearby. While knocking on the door, he said, he heard gunshots.

The two men later went to Rhodes’ girlfriend’s home in Bloomington, where they were arrested.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

Twitter: @stribnorfleet

 

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