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Emily Welker, Published April 17 2014

Moorhead man charged in attempted murder won't have to pay child support

MOORHEAD – A man accused of trying to beat his girlfriend to death with a baseball bat won’t have to pay child support to two women he fathered children with, since he isn’t employable right now, a Clay County judge ruled Thursday.

Michael John Karau, 34, was charged Monday with first-degree attempted murder and five other felonies after an attack in their shared home that police say left the victim with multiple broken bones and at one point fighting for her life in a bathtub as Karau tried to drown her.

Court documents say Karau came home from work drunk, became angry with her and began punching her.

Karau stomped her, hit her with a metal baseball bat, choked, bit and threatened to disfigure her by pouring battery acid on her face, court records say.

The attack went on for hours, with Karau confiscating her cellphone to keep her from calling for help.

Eventually, court records say, she was able to get to her phone and send a text to her brother, who took her to a hospital.

Karau was arrested April 10 at work.

In a pretrial hearing Thursday, Judge Galen Vaa accepted a Clay County prosecutor’s motion to dismiss an order to show cause on Karau’s two different child support cases, due to the fact he is not currently employable.

Prosecutors told the judge they plan to file an amended complaint against Karau in a Christmas Eve case in which he was charged with one count each of misdemeanor domestic assault and disorderly conduct.

Court records show Karau pleaded not guilty to both charges.

He was granted a public defender Thursday on that case and on the attempted murder case.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541