A Duluth man faces a felony assault charge after allegedly stabbing a friend multiple times outside a Gary-New Duluth bar over the weekend.
Stuart Laverne Miller, 43, allegedly admitted to police that he stabbed 27-year-old Timothy William Stuhaug but claimed he did so in self-defense. Police said a physical skirmish led to the stabbing, which was captured on surveillance video, but the source of the dispute remained unclear.
The incident occurred just before 1:45 a.m. Sunday outside Shotz Bar, 1321 Commonwealth Ave. Stuhaug was taken to a local hospital for emergency treatment. Miller, who had left the scene on foot, later turned himself in to police.
According to a criminal complaint, surveillance video shows Miller and Stuhaug stepping outside the rear entrance of the bar to smoke. The two are seen conversing before Stuhaug is captured swatting Miller in the head and sitting down on a bench.
The video shows additional conversation before Miller grabs Stuhaug by the neck and pins him down on the bench, the complaint states. The altercation continues with Stuhaug getting up and placing Miller in a "half-nelson type hold."
According to the complaint, Miller can then be seen removing a knife and stabbing Stuhaug in the abdomen before other people emerge from the bar and separate the two men. Stuhaug was taken to St. Luke's hospital, where doctors performed emergency surgery after documenting four stab wounds.
Other patrons at the bar told police Miller "demanded to leave the area" and fled through the front door, according to the complaint. He contacted the Duluth Police Department about two hours later and was brought to the Public Safety Building for an interview.
In his statement, Miller stated that he was "attacked" and suggested officers review video to "show his side of the story," according to the complaint. Miller then requested to end the interview.
While officers collected DNA and photographed Miller for evidence, he added that he was "concerned the victim was going to choke him out, so he pulled out a spring-operated knife from his right pocket and began stabbing the victim," the complaint said. He allegedly admitted that Stuhaug started going limp after the second stab.
Miller further told police that he went to his brother's residence, where he placed the knife in a garbage can, according to the complaint. He denied any ongoing issues with Stuhaug.
Stuhaug was not listed as a patient at St. Luke's as of Wednesday. He wrote on Facebook on Tuesday that he was doing "not great but better."
Miller was arraigned Wednesday in State District Court on a charge of second-degree assault.
The defendant does not have a violent criminal history, but his record includes several alcohol-related offenses and he remains on probation for refusing to submit to a chemical test. St. Louis County prosecutor Kristen Swanson noted that the terms of that case prohibit Miller from consuming alcohol or entering bars.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Jill Eichenwald said Miller could be released with conditions, alternatively setting unconditional bail at $25,000. Miller is due back in court on Dec. 17.