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Brothers charged for attempted murder in Cass County

Travis Richard Paquette1 / 2
Sheldon James Armstrong, III2 / 2

A 21 year-old Akeley man was stabbed several times, had his hands tied with a yellow strap and then was unloaded in the middle of the road, where two men allegedly attempted to run him over in Cass Lake, court documents said.

Sheldon James Armstrong III, 22, Cass Lake and Travis Richard Paquette, 18, Bemidji were arraigned Monday in Cass County District Court for first-degree attempted murder, kidnapping, second-degree assault and theft of a motor vehicle, Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie reported.

According to the criminal complaint filed against the men:

• Cass County Sheriff deputies were dispatched at 2:45 a.m. Friday to a residence northwest of Cass Lake to a report of an assault victim. The deputy spoke to an adult male sitting on a chair on the deck of a residence who appeared to be covered in blood. The deputy called for an ambulance immediately.

• The man indicated that two individuals had stabbed him multiple times and attempted to kill him. The man knew Armstrong for a few months through Facebook and he had met him personally a few times. The man did not know who Paquette was, but he understood that the two were brothers.

• The man said Armstrong had contacted him July 31 and asked him to meet him after work at the Che-We gas station in Cass Lake. Armstrong asked for a ride to go purchase marijuana. The man drove Armstrong and Paquette to a rural location where Armstrong indicated he was going to purchase marijuana. All three men exited the truck and walked down a trail.

• The man indicated that while walking Armstrong grabbed him from behind and threw him to the ground. He said Armstrong yelled at Paquette to "hit" him. The man said he felt a sharp pain and realized he was stabbed in the lower throat region. He said the men continued to assault him and stabbed him multiple times.

• Armstrong and Paquette subsequently bound the man's wrists with a yellow strap and loaded him back into his truck and drove away. During the drive, the man said Armstrong threatened his life on several occasions.

• At one point they unloaded the bound man in the middle of the road, backed the truck up and then accelerated at a high rate of speed in an attempt to run the man over. The man advised officers that he was able to roll out of the way and escape by running into the woods ultimately arriving at the residence where officers encountered him. The man was transported to a Sanford Hospital in Bemidji to receive medical attention.

Strandlie said the vehicle was subsequently located after it had been driven off of the roadway near Cass Lake. Paquette was arrested approximately two blocks away while walking away from the vehicle. Armstrong was located and arrested at a nearby residence.

Cass County District Court Judge David Harrington set conditions of release for both men. Unconditional bail was set at $100,000 or $75,000 with conditions. The next court appearance for the men is scheduled at 1 p.m. Aug. 11.

The maximum penalty for first-degree attempted murder is no more than 20 years in prison; maximum penalty for kidnapping charge is 40 years; and 10 years for the second-degree assault charge.