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Forum News Service, Published March 27 2014

Two Harbors man pleads guilty in 2012 stabbing death

DULUTH - A Two Harbors man avoided potential first-degree murder charges Thursday when he accepted a plea bargain with prosecutors over a December 2012 stabbing death.

Raymond Charles Weeks, 42, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in State District Court in Duluth, admitting he stabbed Kevin John Tyman, 54, on Dec. 21, 2012.

In exchange for a 30-year prison sentence, prosecutors agreed not to seek first-degree murder charges, the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office reported. Under Minnesota law, only a grand jury can bring first-degree charges, and a conviction carries a maximum life sentence.

Judge Shaun Floerke scheduled Weeks’ sentencing for May 8.

Weeks’ co-defendant, Joella Lee Tucker, 32 of Duluth, pleaded guilty earlier this month to aiding and abetting second-degree murder. Her sentencing date has not been set.

Tucker testified at her March 5 plea hearing that she was angry at Tyman, her former landlord, and that Weeks volunteered to help confront him at his apartment. She testified that Weeks stabbed Tyman in the abdomen, causing the liver laceration that led to his death.