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Published June 27 2012

Fargo man accused of trying to kill wife claims no memory of incident

MOORHEAD – A 37-year-old Fargo man accused of trying to kill his estranged wife on Monday at a Dilworth mobile home claims he blacked out during the alleged attack, according to charges filed Wednesday.

Kenton Wayne Stillday was charged with first-degree premeditated attempted murder and first-degree assault in Clay County District Court.

Bail was set at $500,000 cash or bond without conditions or $250,000 with conditions for Stillday, who also was ordered to have no contact with the victim, Raven Stillday, or their six children.

According to the complaint, the woman told police Stillday grabbed a knife and chased her out of her house in the 700 block of 2½ Avenue Northwest. She slipped twice as she ran but each time was able to grab the knife as he tried to stab her, she said.

Stillday allegedly pinned her to the ground and told her, “If I can’t have you, no one will,” before stabbing her in the upper left chest just above her heart.

Raven Stillday said she then saw her 10-year-old daughter running toward her, and they ran to a neighbor’s house. The neighbor told police Raven Stillday said, “He’s trying to kill me, I don’t want to die. Kenton stabbed me,” the complaint states.

Dilworth police spent the morning searching for the suspect before he turned himself in that afternoon. He told a detective that he had found text messages to another man on his estranged wife’s phone, and they were arguing about it, the complaint states.

Kenton Stillday said Raven Stillday made a comment to him and he “blacked out.” According to the complaint, he said he recalled grabbing the knife but didn’t remember anything else until he found himself over her with the knife as he wondered, “What the hell am I doing?”

Stillday told police he didn’t know what he’d done until he was going to his car and looked at the knife and saw there was blood on it, and he denied wanting to kill the woman, the complaint states.

Raven Stillday suffered a punctured lung and was taken to Sanford Medical Center. She was in stable condition and was expected to be released Wednesday or today, Dilworth Police Chief Josh Ebert said.

Raven Stillday told police that she is in the process of divorcing Kenton Stillday, and that he had been watching their kids while she was out of town on Sunday. When she returned, he asked her to take him back, mentioning that he had been to a sporting goods store – a comment she interpreted to mean he had purchased a weapon, the complaint states.

“I choose life – I guess we’re back together,” she recalled telling him, according to the complaint.

She agreed to let him take a nap at the house before work, and she also fell asleep. She told police she was awakened by him screaming at her, asking her if she was “going to marry that (expletive),” referring to her boyfriend, the complaint states.

Ebert found the knife in some long grass, the complaint states, noting the knife had dark hair and apparent blood on it.

If convicted, Stillday faces up to 20 years in prison on each charge. A judge denied his request for a public defender. His next court appearance is set for July 11.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528