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Emily Welker, Published April 29 2014

West Fargo man charged in attempted murder of neighbor with tomahawk

FARGO – A West Fargo man is charged with attempted murder after allegedly using a tomahawk to try to kill a neighbor he was stalking.

Kokouvi Mawuena Afidegnon, 30, was charged Monday in Cass County District Court with one count of Class AA attempted murder, two counts of reckless endangerment and one count of aggravated assault, all Class C felonies, one count of Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief and one count of Class B misdemeanor simple assault.

According to documents filed with the charges, West Fargo police were called about 5:33 p.m. Friday to a disturbance report at 245 8th Ave. W. of a woman screaming after having been hit in the head with a hatchet or hammer.

Police found a crowd in front of the apartment buildings there when they arrived at the scene.

The female victim was there, covered in blood, and holding a rag to her head injuries.

Her packed suitcase was on the sidewalk, and her purse and its contents were scattered on the ground nearby.

One of the officers pointed out a tomahawk lodged in the south side of the building’s wall.

A neighbor, John Williams, told police he saw the woman leave her apartment, then heard screaming and saw Afidegnon on top of her hitting her in the head with the tomahawk.

He and other neighbors ran to get Afidegnon off of her, after which Williams and the victim ran into Williams’ apartment, locking the door.

Williams heard a crash, he told police, and saw the tomahawk sticking in the wall of his apartment, narrowly missing them both.

The woman told police she did not know Afidegnon, other than that he was her neighbor to the south.

He had been stalking her and she had planned to move out because he was “creeping her out,” she said.

Police were allegedly called to escort the victim to her car the previous day because of the stalking, court documents say.

Witnesses told police Afidegnon went back into his apartment and changed his clothes after attacking the woman.

Afidegnon was arrested, and his bail was set at $100,000 cash.

Police also executed a search warrant on Afidegnon’s apartment and allegedly recovered a Ruger 30-06 rifle from under the bed, with a fully loaded clip and two rounds jammed in it.

His next court appearance is set for June 4.

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