Weather Forecast


Two men in custody after attempted murder in Cass Lake

CASS LAKE -- A Bemidji man and a Cass Lake man were arraigned Monday in Cass County District Court on first-degree attempted murder, kidnapping, second-degree assault and theft of a motor vehicle charges following a stabbing on Friday in Cass Lake.

The men allegedly met up with their victim Friday morning and assaulted and stabbed him, attempted to drive over him with his own truck and then stole the vehicle.

Travis Richard Paquette, 18, of Bemidji, and Sheldon James Armstrong III, of Cass Lake, were arrested Friday after law enforcement located the stolen vehicle.

At approximately 2:45 a.m. on Friday a Cass County Sheriff's Office deputy responded to a report of an assault on the 16300 block of 60th Ave. NE near Cass Lake, according to a criminal complaint. The deputy found the victim sitting on a chair covered in blood. An ambulance was immediately dispatched to the scene.

The victim knew one of his attackers, Armstrong, as the two had been Facebook friends and had met previously in person, the victim said. He was able to positively identify the second man, Paquette, who is believed to be Armstrong's brother, through a photo lineup, court documents stated.

The victim said Armstrong had contacted him Thursday and asked to meet at a gas station for a ride to go purchase some marijuana, according to the complaint. The victim picked up Armstrong and Paquette and drove to a remote location, where at approximately 12:45 a.m. Friday, the three exited the vehicle and walked down a trail where the purchase was to be made. During the walk, Armstrong allegedly grabbed the victim from behind and threw him to the ground at which time Armstrong yelled to Paquette to hit the victim. The victim told law enforcement he felt a sharp pain and realized he had been stabbed in the lower throat region, according to court documents. He said he was assaulted and stabbed several more times, then his hands were tied with a yellow strap and he was loaded into his truck. Armstrong and Paquette allegedly drove around with the victim in his truck, with Paquette driving and Armstrong threatening the victim's life on several occasions, according to the complaint.

At one point, the victim was placed in the middle of the road and his assailants drove at him at a high rate of speed, according to the criminal complaint. The victim said he was able to roll out of the way and took off running to the residence where officers located him.

The victim's truck was located behind a residence on John Moose Drive in Cass Lake. Officers observed a significant amount of blood visible in the box and the seat of the vehicle. Paquette was located and arrested while walking approximately two blocks south of the vehicle's location. Armstrong was located and arrested at a residence on Tract 33 near Cass Lake.

Armstrong and Paquette are scheduled for court in Cass County on Aug. 11 at 1 p.m. Both face identical charges, which carry maximum penalties of 20 years in prison for first-degree attempted murder, 40 years in prison and a $50,000 fine for kidnapping, 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine for second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for theft of a motor vehicle.

Conditions for release for Armstrong and Paquette were set at $100,000 unconditional bail or $75,000 with conditions.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
(218) 333-9796