MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 22-year-old St. Paul woman faces second-degree murder in connection to the fatal stabbing of her boyfriend last week.
Officers were called to Seventh Street East and White Bear Avenue on Friday around 9 p.m. When they arrived, they found a man lying in the street, suffering from an apparent stab wound.
The man, believed to be in his 20s, was transported to Regions hospital, where he later died. On Monday, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victim as 23-year-old Eric T. Brown, of Minneapolis. His death was the result of a stab wound to the back.
On Monday, St. Paul police said they arrested Brown’s 22-year-old girlfriend Kayla Janea Pope, who has been charged with second-degree murder.
The criminal complaint says that Pope was seen by responding officers running away from the scene, and attempting to hide something behind some nearby shrubbery. She had a blood stain on her shirt, police noted.
She told police that Brown had been stabbed in a drug deal gone wrong, and when police put her in the back of their squad car, she repeatedly asked, “[Brown] told you I didn’t do anything, right?” When later questioned by homicide investigators, Pope said that she and Brown had attempted to buy marijuana, and said that she was with him because “drug dealers are usually more comfortable when a female is around,” the charges state.
She said that after Brown was stabbed, she ran into a liquor store nearby and told them to call 911. She said that she grabbed a liquor bottle and poured it into Brown’s mouth, thinking it would help him, the complaint says.
She said that the reason she ran away when police arrived was because Brown told her to go check on their baby. Pope was taken into custody after officers found said baby living in squalor when they searched Pope’s apartment. Police say that inconsistent statements from Pope led them to consider her a suspect in Brown’s death. She then told investigators that she knew where the murder weapon was, which led investigators to say they found it odd that she wouldn’t have mentioned that earlier. She said she was upset with investigators, and didn’t want to earlier.
When shown surveillance video from outside a store near the incident, showing her chasing Brown across the intersection and Brown appearing to be injured and slumped over, she told investigators that she was in an abusive relationship with him. She said the stabbing happened after a domestic assault involving the two, and that he tried to cut her neck. She said that she was tired of being assaulted and feared Brown was going to take or hurt their child.
She said she tried to stab the backpack he was wearing as he tried to leave, but he turned and the backpack swung, resulting in her stabbing Brown in the back.
She is currently being held at Ramsey County Jail.
This was the 23rd homicide this year in St. Paul.