Teenage Suspect Charged in St. Croix River Fisherman’s Homicide

A young Minnesotan turned himself into authorities after the Tuesday tragedy at Interstate State Park.

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Levi C. Acre-Kendall (Polk County Sheriff)
Alleged murderer Levi C. Acre-Kendall (Photo courtesy Polk County Sheriff)

A nineteen-year-old from Cambridge, MN turned himself in to the Polk County sheriff on Thursday in the stabbing death of 34-year-old Pete Kelly of St. Croix Falls on Tuesday. Levi C. Acre-Kendall was charged in court on Friday morning with one count of first-degree reckless homicide and bail was set at $125,000.

As reported earlier, Kelly was a 34-year-old married father of five. He worked at Andersen Windows and volunteered as a coach for St. Croix Falls’ wrestling team. He and a friend were fishing at Minnesota Interstate State Park Tuesday evening when they engaged in an argument with a group of loud young men fishing on the Wisconsin side.

About 9:30 p.m., Kelly and his friend drove to the Wisconsin side, where Kelly was stabbed to death. Witnesses to the event have given conflicting accounts of what happened. The suspect’s friends say Kelly tried to pull Acre-Kendall out of his car, and that’s when the stabbing occurred.

According to the Star Tribune, the big question of “why” has not yet been answered. “The criminal complaint sheds no insight on what was said, and Polk County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Steve Moe said that despite cooperation from Kelly’s and Acre-Kendall’s friends, authorities have no answer,” the newspaper reported.

A campaign to raise funds to support Kelly’s family had raised almost $72,000 by Friday afternoon. Kelly left behind his wife and five children under the age of nine.

Visitation for Peter Kelly is Friday night from 4 to 7 p.m., with the funeral set for Saturday. Both services will be at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Balsam Lake.

This KARE 11 News report includes an interview with Kelly’s brother, as well as comments from the sheriff:

Note: This is a tragic situation for everyone involved, and my deepest condolences go out to Kelly’s friends and family. I also can’t help but mourn the wasted life of a young man who committed a senseless act of violence and robbed a family of their father.

Such an event does not reflect the positive role the St. Croix River plays in our communities. It is contrary to the reasons most of us go to the river: to experience its restorative nature. Going forward, St. Croix 360 will continue to focus on all the river’s positive aspects, with little further coverage of this case. Reports are readily available from other media outlets. – Greg Seitz


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2 responses to “Teenage Suspect Charged in St. Croix River Fisherman’s Homicide”

  1. dave hickman Avatar
    dave hickman

    Pretty pathetic all around. First, a 35 year old man drives 3 miles to go play cops. And he was driving and drinking? Nice. Very responsible, model citizen. And as for the young man? Very foolish to pull a knife unless it was a last resort. The whole thing is a great loss.

  2. Bri Niemeyer Avatar
    Bri Niemeyer

    Unfortunate all around. I do believe , it would be quite hard to charge Acre Kendall to the max on this, how do you know he didn’t fear for his life?? It stated multiple times that he was drug out of car after once being in the car, attempting to leave. I believe the death was unfortunate , I also believe this was more then Kendall Acres fault. The grown men should have avoided confrontation. Acre was still wrong for having used a knife but they were wrong for confronting and attempting to drag out of a car, as newspaper mentioned. Blessings to all. Unfortunate on both ends.

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Teenage Suspect Charged in St. Croix River Fisherman’s Homicide