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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published January 23 2010

Man charged in Mapleton stabbing

A 22-year-old man is charged with attempted murder in connection with a recent stabbing in Mapleton, N.D., that authorities say stemmed from a dispute over property.

Nicholas Dodge Bruesch is being held in the Cass County Jail on $250,000 cash bail.

The victim, 22-year-old Donte Smith, has been released from the hospital, said Cass County Detective Steve Gabrielson.

Smith was stabbed once in the right side of his torso, a wound that left him soaked in blood and screaming for help in the 100 block of Meridian Road when the first 911 call came in about 3 p.m. Jan. 13.

Although investigators initially had more than one person of interest, it’s been determined that Bruesch acted alone, Gabrielson said.

Bruesch and Smith are acquaintances who were drinking a “considerable” amount of alcohol at Bruesch’s home prior to the incident, Gabrielson said.

Court records say:

Smith told investigators Bruesch stabbed him in the entryway of Bruesch’s home with a knife that had a blade about 7 or 8 inches long.

When investigators asked Smith if they argued over some beer taken from Bruesch, Smith replied “possibly.”

Smith was airlifted to Innovis Hospital in Fargo. Doctors said the wound was very serious, damaging Smith’s liver and causing him to lose about two units of blood.

Authorities arrested Bruesch on Jan. 15 for a probation violation not related to the stabbing.

With the new charges filed Friday, Judge Steven Marquart granted the prosecution’s request to increase bail to $250,000.

Leah Viste, an assistant Cass County state’s attorney, cited Bruesch’s lengthy criminal history and said he is a “danger to the community.” His record includes at least five assault convictions.

In addition to the attempted murder charge, a Class A felony, Bruesch was charged Friday with possessing a controlled substance commonly known as Ambien, a Class A misdemeanor.

Bruesch has a preliminary hearing Feb. 18.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590