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Emily Welker, Published December 16 2013

Slain Fargo 23-year-old may have sought help from crisis center before death

FARGO – A 23-year-old Fargo woman whose ex-boyfriend is accused of killing her and another man here last month reportedly sought help from the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center before the killings.

Police investigating the double homicide at a north Fargo apartment building say in a search warrant application that Samantha Wickenheiser “may have recently reached out” to the crisis center before her death Nov. 23.

Her ex-boyfriend, David George Stevens, 35, of Fargo, who is the father of her two sons, faces Class AA felony murder charges for her death and that of Ward Allen Berg, 30, who was with Wickenheiser when they were killed.

Stevens testified earlier this month at a hearing in Cass County District Court that he killed Wickenheiser and Berg because he found the pair physically entangled at the home she and Stevens once shared. He said Wickenheiser was holding a meth pipe.

A judge rejected Stevens’ attempt to enter a guilty plea that day, pending a psychological evaluation.

Stevens has a history of domestic violence. He was convicted in Cass County in 2010 of felony terrorizing after he told his wife that if she ever left him, he would kill her.

An official with the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center declined to speak about the case.

Officials from the crisis center asked police to seek the search warrant, which was approved Dec. 4, in order to access the center’s records.

The search warrant states police believe the help Wickenheiser sought was related to a history of violence with Stevens. At Stevens’ recent Cass County court hearing, he told the court he accused Wickenheiser of costing the couple their home and custody of their children due to her drug abuse.

Police also received warrants to search several cellphones in connection with the case, including Wickenheiser’s phone.

Stevens said in a Dec. 2 hearing that in the less than two weeks since he had last seen Wickenheiser, he had sent her 600 text messages. She had only responded to a few of the texts, he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541