Complaint offers details of alleged assault
Unconditional bail is set at $500,000 for a Rochester man accused of trying to kill his former girlfriend.
Mitchell Lee Good, 30, was arraigned in Olmsted District Court on Friday on attempted first- and second-degree murder charges and other felonies. He is accused of driving his former girlfriend and her 3-year-old daughter to an area in Kalmar Township on Tuesday evening, where he forced her out of the car, threw her on the ground and stabbed at her with knives in both hands.
He is charged with attempted first-degree murder with premeditation and attempted second-degree murder with intent but not premeditation. He also is charged with second-degree assault with a knife and two counts of making terroristic threats.
Prosecutor Rick Jackson urged Judge Joseph Bueltel to set unconditional bail at $500,000 and conditional bail at $250,000, pointing to the "extreme seriousness" of the charges. He said two lives were threatened and two knives were used.
Defense attorney Ted Heim said Good has lived in Rochester for 22 years and has no significant criminal history. He said that while the allegations are serious, initial reports from law enforcement differ from statements given by witnesses who came upon Good, the woman and her daughter that night.
Judge sets bail
Bueltel read the criminal complaint and set bail at the amount requested by Jackson; he set conditional bail at $250,000. Among the conditions are that Good be on an alcohol monitoring bracelet if he posts bond and be subject to random searches. He is to surrender all weapons, have no contact with the victim and her child and stay away from her residence. Good's next court hearing is Aug. 12.
Initial reports from law enforcement Wednesday morning were that passersby driving in the 7000 block of 65th Street Northwest interrupted the assault.
The complaint says the witnesses came upon Good, the woman and the child after the alleged assault and that the woman had the knives in her hands. She told investigators she picked them up after Good got scared off and walked away and that she didn't want him to come back and use them again.
She then walked from a field drive where the assault allegedly occurred to 65th Street, where the witnesses came upon her, her daughter and Good, who was walking behind them.
"The parties were all calm,'' Heim told the judge.
Questioning law enforcement reports
Afterward, Heim's law partner, Jacob Allen, circled by Good's family, asked people to keep an open mind. He, too, said early reports from authorities were inaccurate. Allen said Good did not have knives in his hands and that the witnesses did not see him assault the woman. Allen said the inaccurate information from law enforcement led to inaccurate reports in the news media.
"The situation described was inaccurate, and that inflamed the situation and created a sense of hysteria that was unfortunate,'' Allen said.
According to the complaint, the 25-year-old woman and her daughter went to Good's apartment in Rochester after he sent her text messages to come over. The two have dated off and on since November and have known each other for years. At his apartment, she told investigators, they argued and he ordered her and her daughter to go with him in the car.
In her first statement to detectives at the emergency room at Saint Marys Hospital, the woman said she and her daugher were ordered into the car. The next day, in a taped statement, she said she thought they were going for a drive to continue talking about their relationship. She said she got concerned when he drove into the country.
She said he pulled off on a field drive behind a farm house and ordered her out of the car, threw her to the ground, put his knee on her chest and stabbed her with the knives.
She said she tried to run away but that Good grabbed her and slammed her to the ground. She said that he eventually stopped attacking her, dropped the knives and walked toward 65th Street Northwest. She went to his car to leave, but there was no key in the ignition. She called 911 on her cell phone, grabbed the knives and started to leave with her daughter.
She said he came back and wanted her to help him find the car keys and that she told him to stay away from her. She said he followed her walking to 65th Street and that she kept telling him to stay away. A car came by and stopped. She said Good told the female driver that he tried to kill the woman.
The victim told authorities that she kept walking and another motorist stopped and asked if she needed help. She told the male driver she did and he said to get in her car. He took the knives.
The complaint said witnesses offered similar descriptions of events, including the second motorist who stopped.
In an interview with authorities, the second motorist said he thought there had been an accident and stopped to ask the woman if she and the child were OK. The driver said Good commented that he would end up in prison and walked away. He said the woman was crying and had two knives in her hand. He asked her for the knives and put them in the back seat. He noticed a little blood on her right eyebrow and hand and asked if she was OK.