St. Paul man charged with assaulting stepson with ax

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 19, 2014 - 11:16 PM

A St. Paul man angry with his stepson for staying at his house was charged Wednesday with trying to kill him with an ax.

Mark R. James, 62, who teaches fourth grade at a Minneapolis school, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with first- and second-degree attempted murder.

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

The complaint said James’ stepson called police from a neighbor’s home Sunday morning saying that James hit him in the face with an ax and cut him near his left eye while the stepson’s toddler son was in a crib in the same room. The stepson said James woke him earlier telling him he needed to get out of the house in a matter of minutes.

The stepson tried to reason with James, he said, but James jabbed him in the shoulder and face with the ax.

The stepson said he and his wife and two sons moved in with his mother and stepfather last October and planned to move out at the end of February.

James’ wife, who was not home at the time of the assault, said James was still angry at her son for charging $150 on James’ credit card weeks before.

James works as a fourth-grade teacher at Anishinabe Academy in Minneapolis, said school district spokesman Stan Alleyne. He’s been put on administrative leave.

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