A Minnesota man pleaded not guilty Monday to fatally stabbing a fisherman along the St. Croix River last month after an hourslong dispute between two groups of men.
Levi Acre-Kendall, 19, of Cambridge, pleaded not guilty in Polk County Circuit Court to first-degree reckless homicide in the April 14 death of Peter S. Kelly.
His bail was also lowered from $125,000 to $75,000. Acre-Kendall’s attorney, Eric Nelson, argued for a $20,000 bail, which was opposed by Polk County District Attorney Dan Steffen.
Nelson said that Acre-Kendall had not yet posted bail. If he does, he will have to observe a 9 p.m. curfew and use electronic home confinement, among other conditions.
Authorities allege that Acre-Kendall and his friends, also from Minnesota, were fishing on the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River in Interstate Park while Kelly, 34, and his friend, Ross Lechman, fished on the Minnesota side.
Acre-Kendall and his friends were getting loud and using profanity. Kelly and Lechman asked them to show respect, according to the complaint. Someone in Acre-Kendall’s group taunted Kelly and Lechman to drive across the river, and Kelly said they would. Kelly, a father of five from St. Croix Falls, and Lechman drove over and confronted the younger men, the charge said.
The charge said Lechman pushed Acre-Kendall to the ground. Kelly confronted Acre-Kendall, who allegedly stabbed him in the chest with a knife.
Acre-Kendall’s friends told authorities that the stabbing occurred when Kelly tried to pull Acre-Kendall out of a car. Lechman did not witness the stabbing, which Nelson has said was an act of self-defense. Acre-Kendall’s next court date is June 22.