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St. Louis County couple's drunken fight led to stabbing

DULUTH -- A woman with two blackened eyes and a broken nose was arraigned in St. Louis County District Court on Tuesday, accused of repeatedly stabbing and critically injuring her boyfriend with a butcher knife during a drunken brawl.

Shawn Marie Melton, 45, is charged with first-degree assault in connection with the incident Saturday night at the Solway Township home she shares with the victim.

St. Louis County sheriff's deputies responded to the residence about 10 p.m. after Melton called 911.

According to the criminal complaint, deputies found Melton leaning against the back screen door entrance. She was wearing only a tank top. Deputies could detect a strong odor of alcohol from her.

John Kaarbo, 41, was found lying on the couch with his hands on his chest. He said Melton stabbed him twice and he told her she'd better finish him off. She then stabbed him a third time, he said.

The victim was transported to a Duluth hospital by Life Flight for emergency surgery. There were two stab wounds to his torso. One wound lacerated his colon, spleen and small bowel. A physician listed Kaarbo's condition as critical and said he would have died from the injuries if not treated.

The defendant also was taken to the hospital for medical attention, including treatment for a broken nose. The examining physician at the hospital said Melton also had two bumps on the back of her head.

Deputies found evidence of a struggle inside the home. There was blood along the counter in the kitchen, in the dining room, on the living room carpet and on a leather sofa.

Melton told deputies that she and Kaarbo were intoxicated and were fighting and "being drunk and dumb." She allegedly laughed when saying it wasn't a little fight but a "full-blown fight" where they were throwing punches at each other.

Melton has no criminal record.

St. Louis County prosecutor Leslie Beiers told Judge James Gibbs that Melton critically injured Kaarbo and that, according to police reports, she had fired a shotgun over his head in a previous incident. She asked the court to set bail at $75,000.

Melton is employed and doesn't qualify for a public defender. She has two

adult children and, according to court records was divorced last year from a 21-year-old man.

Gibbs set bail at $75,000 and advised the defendant to seek the services of a lawyer.