ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A 49-year-old St. Paul man has pleaded guilty to charges that he stabbed a man to death and stabbed his wife in the eyes, causing her to go blind and leaving her seriously wounded.
Pah Ber pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree assault charges in Ramsey County Court in connection with the Nov. 20, 2011, incident involving Paw Pee and Po Lye of Albert Lea. Lye died in the incident, and Pee was seriously injured.
A criminal complaint connected to the case paints a scene of jealousy and violence. At 7 a.m. police responded to a stabbing at the 1400 block of Farrington Street in St. Paul, where Ber told police he lived with his wife and five children. Upon arrival police almost immediately arrested Ber after seeing him walk down from the complex with his hands covered in blood.
Inside the complex, police found 40-year-old Po Lye of Albert Lea with a deep gash in his neck. Authorities pronounced him dead at the scene. In another room, police found Ber’s wife, 40-year-old Paw Pree, suffering from stab wounds all over her body. She was covered in blood, and authorities took her to Regions Hospital for treatment.
Police spoke with Pree at the hospital, and she said that the stabbing occurred after Ber accused her of being unfaithful. Pree said Ber asked her if she was going to sleep with Lye before pulling out a knife and stabbing Lye in the stomach. Pree said she then ran into the bedroom and locked herself in. But moments later Ber broke down the door, stabbed her many times and blinded her with cuts on her eyes.
The couple’s young daughter was in the bed at the time of the stabbing. Ber then left the bedroom to sharpen his knife in the kitchen, at which moment the couple’s young son took Pree by the hand and led her into another apartment.
Before stabbing his wife, Ber chased Lye around the apartment and cut his throat, Ber’s 21-year-old son said. Ber’s son told police that his father threatened to kill him for trying to save Lye’s life. Ber’s son said he escaped to one of his sister’s rooms and told her to call 911.
After his arrest, Ber told police he went home drunk Saturday morning after playing cards. He said men were teasing him about his wife cheating on him and that the sight of Lye on his couch made him angry.
Ber told police he wanted to kill Lye and hurt his wife, but not kill her. Ber told police he is glad Lye is dead, because he won’t have to endure teasing anymore. He said the knife he used in the stabbing was 8-inches long.
If convicted, Ber faces up to 60 years in prison.