DULUTH – An Iron Range man has been charged with second-degree murder after authorities say he fatally stabbed his ex-girlfriend on Wednesday.

Derek E. Malevich, 39, told police he returned to his home in Virginia around 2 a.m. Wednesday and "found a person stealing from him," charges state.

"He bashed the person's head in and stabbed them, he then discovered the person was his ex-girlfriend, and he thought she might be dead," charges say he told 911 dispatchers.

According to the criminal complaint filed Friday:

When authorities arrived, the victim was found on a couch with multiple stab wounds to her face and neck, but Malevich was not at his home. He was later found at a local hotel around 9 a.m. and arrested.

Malevich told police at the Virginia jail there were multiple people in his home and he was attacked by two of them. He then "grabbed his knife near the sink in his kitchen and started stabbing and smashing" before leaving the scene.

He also said the victim "cheated on him and indicated he hoped to change her."

Malevich "did not appear to have any injuries," and authorities found just one drop of blood in the kitchen, where Malevich said he was attacked. "The rest of the apparent blood was found ... on our near the couch in the living room" where the victim was found.

Bail has been set at $1 million. His next hearing is Monday.

Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

Those who need help with abusive relationships are encouraged to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or text START to that number.

Brooks Johnson • 218-491-6496