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Man pleads not guilty to assault charges

A Rochester man accused of threatening another man with a knife has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

James Tarran Newsom, 22, entered the pleas Tuesday in Olmsted County District Court, where he was charged in March with one count each of second-degree assault; aggravated stalking-possess dangerous weapon; and terroristic threats, all felonies; in addition to two counts of misdemeanor domestic assault and a petty misdemeanor count of drug possession.

His next court appearance has been set for July 17.

The charges stem from an incident March 8, when officers responded to a call from Newsom, who said there was a disorderly person in his house.

When an officer approached the home, he saw a man in the living room — later identified as Newsom — holding a kitchen knife. The officer ordered him to drop the knife, which he did.


Newsom had blood on his shoulder, the complaint says; another man in the apartment was bleeding from his elbow, and had scratches on his chest and shoulder.

The men said they were arguing about a cell phone when the disagreement became physical. Newsom allegedly picked up a knife and told the other man to get away "or I'm going to stab you."

The other man said Newsom put him in a headlock while holding the knife in the other hand; Newsom denied the headlock, and said he didn't try to stab the man.

Newsom was arrested at the scene; when an officer picked up the shoes Newsom wanted to wear, a small bag of marijuana fell out of a shoe, the complaint says.

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