St. Croix River stabbing suspect in tears at bail violation hearing

A Minnesota man charged with fatally stabbing 34-year-old Wisconsin father Peter Kelly on the St. Croix River broke down in uncontrollable tears at a bail violation hearing in Polk County on Monday.

Cambridge, Minn. 19-year-old Levi Acre-Kendall pleaded not guilty in the murder case earlier this month, his attorney arguing the stabbing was in self defense, but was arrested Thursday night for jumping bail and has now been charged with violating those terms.

Prosecutors: Twitter used to connect with witnesses

Prosecutors allege that the 19-year-old used Twitter to connect with a couple of witnesses he was barred from contacting while out on bail. Those witnesses, close friends of Acre-Kendall, were with him at the time of the deadly confrontation.

Acre-Kendall is accused of posting a childhood photo of the three of them as well as sending out a couple of tweets alluding to the case, including the following:

"If you are praying for me, please keep the Kelly family in mind as well. I never intended for this to happen. I wish it never did."

"It's a new world. As I said, when we were younger, it was no different than sending letters, passing notes, leaving a voicemail. Now we leave tweets, post on Facebook and email. I don't think that changes that it's contact," Polk County District Attorney Daniel Steffen said.

Acre-Kendall's defense team argued their client made an innocent and youthful mistake and that he wasn't trying to influence any witnesses.

"What we have here is a 19-year-old kid whose brain is not fully formed, who did not realize the consequences," defense attorney Eric Nelson said.

The judge didn't buy it, at least for now.

$75,000 bail rescinded

Acre-Kendall's $75,000 cash bail was "rescinded" until the judge rules at his new preliminary hearing on the charges stemming from his jumping bail. That hearing has been slated to take place May 28. Essentially, that means the 19-year-old will be locked up until at least May 28. Now, the state is seeking to have his bail forfeited, meaning his family would lose the that money.Levi Acre-Kendall's defense team said the murder case is headed to trial and they will ask for the case to be moved out of Polk County.


Acre-Kendall is now charged with jumping bail and first-degree reckless homicide for the April 14 stabbing at Interstate Park. He surrendered 2 days after the deadly riverfront altercation, and the knife allegedly used in the incident was handed over to investigators.

According to the charges, Kelly was fishing with a friend on the Minnesota side of the St. Croix River, and at some point got into a verbal altercation with Acre-Kendall's group of friends on the Wisconsin side. Kelly's family has said Acre-Kendall's group was doing drugs and acting belligerent, and Kelly had enough and went to confront the anglers.

Polk County prosecutors acknowledged Kelly "had consumed alcohol" prior to the confrontation -- an incident that would end with Kelly stabbed in the chest.

MORE - St. Croix stabbing suspect pleads not guilty 
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