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Cook guilty in stabbing case

Posted: Friday, Feb 4th, 2011

A rural Arlington man arrested in connection with an Oct. 23, 2010, home invasion and stabbing in Brookings has pleaded guilty to two felony charges.

Michael E. Cook, 28, was indicted by a Brookings County grand jury on two felony charges: first-degree burglary and aggravated assault.

He admitted to both this week and could face up to 40 years behind bars when he’s sentenced next month.

Court documents say that in the nighttime hours on Oct. 23, Cook entered or remained in an occupied residence in the 500 block of 12th Street South with the intent to commit assault.

The indictment also says that Cook knowingly caused bodily harm, with a dangerous weapon, to the man who lived there.

State’s Attorney Clyde Calhoon said that in the early morning hours of Oct. 23, the occupant of that residence was in bed with his girlfriend.

Calhoon said Cook entered the residence, kicked in the locked bedroom door and stabbed the man in bed. The victim suffered an injury to his mouth, as well as stab wounds to his left arm, left chest and right thigh.

Calhoon said the victim’s girlfriend knew and identified the defendant, and during a later, recorded telephone conversation, Cook admitted what he did.

When questioned by Circuit Judge David Gienapp this week, Cook also admitted that he broke in to the victim’s home to stab him.

First-degree burglary is a Class 2 felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Aggravated assault, a Class 3 felony, has a maximum possible punishment of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

In exchange for Cook’s guilty pleas this week, Calhoon agreed to dismiss habitual criminal information he had previously filed against the defendant. If proven, it could have increased the class – and possible maximum penalty – of each felony charge.

Calhoon also said no additional charges will result from the Oct. 23 incident. But the prosecutor says he reserves the right to make an argument at sentencing next month.

Gienapp accepted Cook’s guilty pleas this week. The judge ordered a pre-sentence investigation and remanded Cook to the custody of the sheriff without bond.

Sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 1.

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