Duluth stabbing suspect involved in 2003 murderA Cloquet man accused of attempted second-degree murder for allegedly stabbing a 17-year-old girl in the heart was involved in the 2003 Duluth murder of 5-year-old Marcus Johnson and in the repeated stabbing of a Cass Lake, Minn., man in 2009.
By: Mark Stodghill, Duluth News Tribune
A Cloquet man accused of attempted second-degree murder for allegedly stabbing a 17-year-old girl in the heart was involved in the 2003 Duluth murder of 5-year-old Marcus Johnson and in the repeated stabbing of a Cass Lake, Minn., man in 2009.
Donald William Laquier Jackson, 25, was arraigned in St. Louis County District Court on Monday and charged with six crimes in connection with an Oct. 13 incident on the 10 block of East Fifth Street. Police responded to that location to find a 17-year-old girl lying on her side in the grass with a knife wound to her heart, her left eye nearly swollen shut and having difficulty breathing. She was hospitalized in serious condition.
Because of his violent criminal history, St. Louis County prosecutor Kristen Swanson asked the court to set Laquier Jackson’s bail at $250,000. Judge Eric Hylden settled on $150,000 bail. The defendant is being held in the St. Louis County Jail.
In her memo requesting a high bail, Swanson wrote that the defendant is “clearly a risk to public safety by virtue of his propensity to commit violent crimes.” Laquier Jackson is an alleged member of the Native Mob gang.
Defendants typically waive the formal reading of the criminal complaint against them, but Laquier Jackson asked the judge to read the complaint. He is charged with attempted second-degree murder for the benefit of a gang, attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault causing great bodily harm committed for the benefit of a gang, another count of first-degree
assault and two counts of second-degree assault in connection with the beating and stabbing of the girl and the beating of an 18-year-old male.
Duluth police have not yet determined a motive.
Hylden ruled that Laquier Jackson qualifies for a public defender, who will be assigned to represent him in future court hearings.
The 17-year-old girl and 18-year-old male victims have asked authorities not to release their names because they fear for their lives.
Laquier Jackson’s alleged accomplice, Norman Wayne Cutbank III, 17, is charged in juvenile court with first-, second- and third-degree assault for his alleged role in the attacks. Cutbank allegedly used a wooden baseball bat in the assaults.
A witness in Duluth said she had seen Laquier Jackson, Cutbank and the female victim in an alley about 10 p.m. the night of the attack, the complaint said. The witness said the female victim was confrontational and screaming when she pushed Cutbank to the ground. The witness said she heard the victim make gang references toward Cutbank. The witness said she didn’t know if Cutbank was affiliated with the Native Mob, but she said Laquier Jackson is. She said she has seen him wearing a hat with the Native Mob insignia on it.
The witness said she saw Cutbank hit the female victim with the baseball bat and that Laquier Jackson was present during the assault, but she didn’t see him with a knife.
According to a court document, Laquier Jackson was convicted of second-degree murder as a juvenile in 2005. He was one of six people charged in connection with Marcus Johnson’s death on Sept. 24, 2003. The group went to the apartment where the five-year-old boy lived to rob a resident of drugs and money. The boy was accidently shot to death during the botched robbery attempt. He was sleeping on a sleeper sofa in another room when a shot fired by Gary Wayne Laquier, 18, Donald’s brother, went through a wall and struck the boy in the head.
At the time, police said Donald Laquier Jackson was behind the door taking part in the attempted robbery, but wasn’t directly involved in the shooting. He served time at the Red Wing Correctional Facility for his rule in the crime.
After that, in 2009, Laquier Jackson was convicted of second-degree assault in Beltrami County for repeatedly stabbing a Cass Lake man in the chest and upper torso.
The criminal complaint against Laquier Jackson in that case states that he stabbed his victim nine times, puncturing a lung, with one stab wound inflicted less than an inch from the victim’s heart.