A woman who said she was raped in a St. Paul apartment bound and gagged her alleged attacker and left him on a bed, where police discovered his body, according to charges filed Tuesday.
Evonne Tonette Sharkey, 37, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Steven Dennis Malone, 65, who was found dead early Sunday in an apartment at the Como-Dale Estates in the 600 block of Front Avenue.
Charges say Sharkey used duct tape and a thick cord from bedroom drapes to tie up Malone, choked him three times, tied up his legs, shoved a hand towel in his mouth and left him on a bed, covered with a blanket. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner determined that Malone died of asphyxia due to strangulation and concluded that he was already dead or unconscious when he was bound.
"It was an accident," Sharkey told investigators, according to the charges. "I never meant to hurt that man — that was never my intention."
Sharkey was being held in the Ramsey County jail ahead of her first court appearance scheduled for Wednesday morning in St. Paul.
According to the charges: Sharkey had met Malone in a park near the Days Inn on University Avenue Saturday afternoon. The two shared a drink in the park and then went to Malone's apartment. While there, they were joined by another woman. Sharkey and the other woman smoked crack to celebrate the other woman's birthday. The three drank and played cards. The other woman left after she got into a fight with Malone. He then started pulling Sharkey's hair, groping her and hitting her. The two began to "wrestle and tussle," and Sharkey said Malone raped her.
Sharkey, who stands 5 foot 7 and weighs 184 pounds, said she choked Malone, who is 5 foot 9, for 10 to 20 seconds as they fought. Once he lost consciousness, she told investigators, she took a braided cord from a curtain to tie his hands and put duct tape around his wrists because she thought the cord had popped loose. She said she placed him face down on a bedroom mattress, covered him with a blanket and stuffed a towel in his mouth because he was "hollering and cussing." Sharkey told investigators that Malone was breathing when she left the apartment, and "it blew her mind when she learned that he had died."
Sharkey talked to her husband around 4 a.m. Sunday and told him she had to "tussle with her assailant to get away," the charges said. He picked her up at a light-rail station and took her back to the Days Inn on University Avenue where they had been staying. They were met by officers. Sharkey told them of the alleged rape and said she didn't know "if she had hurt the dude or not."
Police did not find signs of a struggle in Malone's apartment but found his watch, cellphone and rings in a bag in Sharkey's motel room.
When investigators asked her what was going through her mind, she said "to fight — show him I was stronger than him. I was drunk."
After speaking with Sharkey, who showed signs of injury, police went to Malone's apartment and got no response. After Malone did not respond to officers' knocks on doors and windows, officers gained entry to the apartment. They found what police spokesman Steve Linders described as a "very disturbing scene."
Sharkey has a previous conviction for third-degree assault, court records show.
Malone was St. Paul's 25th homicide victim of the year.