Man charged with trying to kill stepson with ax

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A St. Paul man is charged with two counts of attempted murder after he allegedly admitted to police that he tried to kill his stepson with an ax.

Officers were dispatched to a home on the 1500 block of Race Street in St. Paul just before 8 a.m. Sunday after receiving a call from the stepson of 62-year-old Mark James telling them that James had hit him in the face with an ax, causing a laceration near his left eye. The victim told police that his 18-month old child was still in the home with James.

Squads were waiting outside James' home and arrested him when he walked out of the home.

The suspect's stepson told police he was sleeping in the basement when James woke him up and told him he had 10 minutes to leave the house. When he apparently didn't move fast enough James allegedly began swinging the axes, knocking over the stepson's art supplies and an easel. When told it would take some time because he needed to pack up the baby, James reportedly swung the ax and hit him in the face.

James' wife told officers that her son, his wife and their two children had moved in some time in October of 2013. The young couple's 3 month old son had died suddenly, and a history of problems between the son and James got worse. She said her son had charged $150 worth of video games to James' credit card without him knowing.

After first denying he had swung an ax at his stepson, police say James called the victim "a thieving, lying sack of s#$% that has been living in our basement for 5 months." Detectives say he admitted trying to kill the victim, saying he'd been full of rage for months.

At the end of the interview, police say James was asked if he had anything else to say. "Yeah," they quote him as saying. "Don't let me go cause if he's still in the house when I get back I will (expletive) kill him."

If found guilty, Mark James faces a possible 20 years in prison on each of two counts of attempted murder.


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