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Forum staff reports, Published August 14 2012

Man accused in Dilworth stabbing claims victim fell backward onto knife

MOORHEAD – A Dilworth man accused of stabbing an acquaintance in the back last week when both of them were drunk told police the victim fell backward onto the knife and it was an accident, court records show.

Rodrick Mark Ponce, 48, is charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and third-degree assault in connection with the incident reported at 2:01 a.m. Thursday at a residence in the 700 block of Center Avenue West in Dilworth.

According to the complaint filed in Clay County District Court:

When authorities arrived, they found that the victim had a stab wound to his lower back and Ponce had been helping him. A preliminary breath test showed Ponce’s blood-alcohol concentration was 0.35 percent; hospital staff determined the victim’s BAC was 0.305 percent.

At the Dilworth Police Department, Ponce told a detective that he and the victim had been drinking all day and that he’d been sharpening his knife that night. He said the victim was sitting in a chair in front of him when he fell backward onto the knife.

At the hospital, the victim told a different story.

He said he had met Ponce a few days earlier and allowed him to stay at his home. The victim didn’t recall arguing with Ponce about anything prior to being stabbed, but said he didn’t fall against the knife.

The victim said he and Ponce were hugging when he felt a “pinch” and said to Ponce, “Did you just stab me? That’s it.” He said he didn’t see Ponce with a knife until he was stabbed.

Ponce remained in the Clay County Jail Tuesday after his bail was set Monday at $50,000 cash or bond without conditions or $20,000 bond/$2,000 cash with conditions.

His next court appearance is Monday.