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Man charged with attempted murder in stabbing case

MORRIS - A man faces attempted murder and assault charges in connection with the stabbing of a Morris man Thursday night.

John Lewis Longcrow, 25, was charged Monday for allegedly stabbing Ronnie White Mountain, 40, multiple times during an argument at the Lamplighter Apartment on West 5th Street in Morris.

White Mountain was transported to Stevens Community Medical Center, then airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center. On Monday, White Mountain was in stable condition, according to an HCMC official.

Longcrow appeared in Stevens County District Court Monday morning and was ordered held on $500,000 unconditional cash bond, or a $250,000 conditional cash bond.

The conditions are that Longcrow not leave the state, that he have no contact with White Mountain and that he stay away from the Lamplighter Apartments.

Longcrow is being held in the Traverse County Jail.

Longcrow's arraignment is scheduled for 8:30 a.m., Oct. 13, and Judge Peter Hoff granted Longcrow a continuance on Monday so he could meet with a public defender.

Longcrow is charged with attempted murder without premeditation, first-degree assault causing great bodily harm, and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

The attempted murder charge carries a penalty of 20 years in prison, the first-degree assault charge carries a penalty of 20 years and/or a $30,000 fine, and the second-degree assault charge carries a penalty of seven years and/or a $14,000 fine.

According to the complaint against Longcrow, Morris police responded to a 911 call at 11:09 p.m., Oct. 2, that a man was bleeding and needed assistance. Police Officer Shane Nelson went to White Mountain's apartment and found him "covered in blood" from stab wounds to his abdomen and other areas of his body.

Nelson applied first aid until Emergency Medical Technicians arrived. White Mountain told Nelson that he had been stabbed by a "Johnny," the complaint states.

At 11:35 p.m., police received another call from a citizen who was walking a few blocks from the Lamplighter Apartments and heard a man say he had been involved in a stabbing.

Police went to the location and found a man matching Longcrow's description with fresh wounds on his hands and wrists, and blood on his sweatshirt, pants and shoes. Police concluded that the wounds were defensive injuries.

Police investigations found that a number of people were at the apartment, that White Mountain and Longcrow had argued, and that they "saw the defendant (Longcrow) make stabbing motions toward White Mountain's abdomen while the two were in proximity to one another."

Stevens County Attorney Charles Glasrud requested the conditional bail amount because White Mountain suffered severe wounds.

"Without prompt and skilled medical attention, he certainly wouldn't have survived it," Glasrud said.

White Mountain is facing legal troubles of his own.

He is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing Oct. 20 after Stevens District Court Judge Gerald Seibel accepted a guilty plea from White Mountain for making terroristic threats against Victor Melnichuk in September 2007.

Glasrud sentencing in the case is pending.

In that case, White Mountain was originally charged with armed robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon following an altercation involving an alleged poker debt.

White Mountain contended he wasn't carrying a knife and that he said he would get a knife to protect himself only after the victim threatened to beat him.

According to the complaint against White Mountain, the Morris Police Department received a 911 call from the alleged victim, Victor Melnichuk, of Morris, at 3:56 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8. Melnichuk claimed that White Mountain had come to the apartment seeking payment of a $5 debt Melnichuk told police he owed White Mountain.

Melnichuk told police he paid White Mountain with a $10 bill and asked for change. When White Mountain sat down, Melnichuk said he noticed a knife in White Mountain's hand, and that he told Melnichuk "I think I am going to have to cut you," according to the complaint.

Melnichuk told police he stood and White Mountain took "an aggressive stance." Melnichuk said he begged for his life and told White Mountain he could take the money and leave. White Mountain went through Melnichuk' wallet, took money and left. Melnichuk stated that he had $13 or $14 in his wallet, and he identified the building and approximate location of White Mountain's apartment, according to the complaint.

When police arrived at White Mountain's apartment, he agreed that officers could look around the apartment, and they found $14 in a kitchen drawer. White Mountain told officers he had been to Melnichuk's apartment earlier to get some money owed him from a poker game. He denied he had a knife and stated that Melnichuk had threatened to beat White Mountain for requesting payment of the debt and that he was going to get a knife to protect himself, according to the complaint.