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Bethany Wesley, Published April 21 2009

Cass Lake, Minn., man airlifted to MeritCare was stabbed nine times in chest

CASS LAKE, Minn. - Donald William Laquire-Jackson, 21, of Duluth, was charged Tuesday in Beltrami County District Court with felony first-degree assault causing great bodily harm.

He remains in the Beltrami County Jail.

Christopher Lee Barrett, 22, of Cass Lake, suffered severe injuries from numerous stab wounds to his chest and upper torso in the assault, according to the criminal complaint filed against Laquire-Jackson.

Barrett was airlifted to MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, N.D. His family has requested that his condition not be released, according to a spokeswoman for MeritCare Hospital.

It was determined by the medical staff at MeritCare Hospital that Barrett had been stabbed nine times in the chest area, according to the criminal complaint. One lung had been punctured and physicians have struggled to keep it inflated. One stab wound was less than 1 inch from his heart.

Barrett is in the intensive care unit and is intubated, according to the criminal complaint.

If convicted, Laquire-Jackson faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

The Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.