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DL man charged with murder

St. Mary's EMS workers, Detroit Lakes Police officers and Becker County Sheriff deputies prepared to move David Lee Stensrud from a Washington Avenue apartment to an ambulance Wednesday afternoon. Stensrud has been charged with second degree murder in the death of Geraldine Kading.

The Becker County Attorney’s office has charged David Lee Stensrud with second degree murder, but he has not been arrested yet.

Stensrud is still in a Fargo hospital.

David Lee Stensrud

A week ago today (Wednesday), police were called to a welfare check at 918½ Washington Ave., Apartment 1, in Detroit Lakes. There they found Geraldine Kading, 69, of Dent, dead with an arrow in her chest.

They also found Stensrud in the bedroom with an arrow in his chest. He was taken by ambulance to Essentia Health-St. Mary’s. He was later transferred to Fargo, where he remains.

According to the county attorney’s complaint, the state alleges that on April 10, Becker County dispatch received a report of potential murder and suicide.

Law enforcement responded to the call, entered the apartment, and found the non-responsive woman and an arrow protruding from her chest.

The officers also found Stensrud lying on the floor of a bedroom with an arrow protruding from his chest. There was a crossbow lying on the bed next to him.

Minnesota court records show that Stensrud has a violent past. He pleaded guilty in Clay County District Court to felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1998 after he was accused of having sexual contact with someone under the age of 16 in May 1997. Stensrud was listed as living in Halstad at the time.

In 1999, Stensrud pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct after a 16-year-old girl told police Stensrud had sexually abused her since she was 12 years old. Stensrud lived in Hitterdal at the time, according to court records.

Stensrud was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for the crime, an upward departure from state sentencing guidelines.

However, Stensrud was released after serving two-thirds, or about 11 years, of his sentence.

According to KDLM Radio, the Kading family released a statement saying, “This is an extremely difficult time. We’ve lost our mother, grandmother, sister, aunt to a senseless act of violence, committed by a disturbed individual who had become an acquaintance with our mother and father.

“Our mother was always a loving and caring person. Family was always first. Our dad passed away about a year and a half ago, and our only comfort right now is that our mother is in heaven with her savior, husband and family.”

Kading’s funeral is Thursday, and more can be found about her life on page 6A.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.