MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 27-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with a fatal stabbing last August, according to the Hennepin County Attorney.

Yolanda Lynn Smith, address unknown, was identified as a possible suspect after witnesses said she fled the crime scene on Aug. 21, 2013 during a fight. Just before her murder trial was scheduled to begin, Smith entered a guilty plea in the case.

Smith admitted to authorities that she stabbed 39-year-old Catherine Banks, of Minneapolis. Banks was found by police with multiple stab wounds in the area of 5th Avenue South and Lake Street East. She was taken to the hospital, where she later died.

Witnesses told police Smith left the area on foot but officers were unable to find her. A witness said she saw the victim and Smith in an argument that became physical.

According to the criminal complaint, Smith eventually pulled out a knife and stabbed Banks several times before fleeing the scene. She was eventually spotted by police four days after the stabbing, near West River Road and Lake Street.

Officers approached her, but Smith fled into a heavily wooded area between the parkway and the Mississippi River, according to the complaint.

During a search of the area, officers located Smith hiding in some bushes. She was placed under arrest.

Smith will be sentenced on May 12. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said she is expected to receive more than 18 years in prison.


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