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