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Bartholamy Drift
Bartholamy Drift

Virginia homicide victim had multiple stab wounds

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news Duluth, 55802
Duluth Minnesota 424 W. First St. 55802

Harley Jacka was stabbed 15 times — in the head, face, neck and chest — before he was found dead in an apartment in Virginia last month, according to warrants filed against three men accused of carrying out the murder.

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Virginia Police Chief Dennis Benz released the warrants Friday, and they detail a bloody scene at 207 Fifth St. S. on the morning of April 27.

Benz said Bartholamy Drift, Anthony Isham and John Isham are expected to be formally charged next week in district court with felony second-degree murder charges. All three are in custody on unrelated charges, Benz said.

According to the criminal complaint filed with the warrants, a tenant at the apartment found the body of Jacka, 28, wrapped in a blanket with obvious knife wounds. Police found four knives at the scene, including one that was “broken at the hilt.”

The tenant said he had been gone for several days and that Drift, 39, of Nett Lake, had been staying at the apartment. Police talked with Drift and, according to the complaint, eventually all three men admitted to being in the apartment in the early-morning hours on April 27. Police eventually detained each of the men.

The men each told police the other men committed the crime, the complaint states. Police also talked with John Isham’s mother and brother, who told investigators that John Isham arrived at their home that morning and said Anthony Isham and Drift had killed Jacka. Police said they matched bloody footprints at the scene of the crime to Drift and Anthony Isham. A third footprint also was identified, but the shoes John Isham was wearing that morning have not been found, police said.

Drift told police he woke up that morning and saw Jacka “sitting on the couch with blood” and Anthony Isham with a knife in his hand, the complaint states.

Anthony Isham, 42, of Nett Lake admitted he was at the apartment and had fallen asleep only to wake and see Jacka “dead on the floor” and Drift and John Isham “covered in blood,” the complaint reads.

John Isham, 38, of Virginia told police he left the apartment after Jacka left and only Anthony Isham and Drift remained.

Drift is being held on a predatory offender violation and John Isham was jailed on a probation violation. They were detained soon after the crime. Police put out a call for information on finding Anthony Isham, who had warrants for burglary and gun charges. He was arrested in Duluth last Sunday.

Jacka’s father, Dave Jacka, spoke with the News Tribune earlier this week and praised city, county, state and federal officers for their work on the investigation.

“The detectives and FBI have been totally awesome,” Dave Jacka said. “They’ve been doing a really good job. They’re still on it. We just want to have peace for the funeral and see how everything turns out.”

Jacka’s funeral was held Thursday. Dave Jacka declined further comment on Friday.

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