Prosecutors have added an assault charge and will seek an above-guideline sentence for a Duluth man accused of randomly assaulting and robbing a 78-year-old Lakeside neighborhood resident in June.
A first-degree assault charge was added in a June 29 amended criminal complaint against 28-year-old Warren Holt Jr., who posted a $150,000 bond and was released from the St. Louis County Jail on Monday, according to records.
Holt already was facing aggravated first-degree robbery and two counts of first-degree burglary after allegedly striking, strangling and stabbing the victim and stealing his truck June 16. Authorities described the attack as "swift and vicious," noting that Holt and the victim did not know each other.
Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Tony Rubin said he would seek aggravated sentences on any counts that result in a conviction, saying the victim "was treated with particular cruelty" and that the crime "was committed in a location in which the victim had an expectation of privacy."
All four of the charges carry up to 20 years in prison. Records show that Holt has a prior conviction for domestic assault in Carlton County in 2017.
According to court documents, the victim told police that he was in his garage shortly before 2 p.m. when an intruder hit him in the head with a can of varnish and choked him. The suspect then stole his house and car keys and left in his pickup truck.
The 78-year-old stated that the same man had been by his house, on the 6100 block of East Superior Street, less than an hour earlier. The suspect was looking at a Ford truck parked in the driveway before the victim "shooed" him away, according to the complaint.
PREVIOUSLY: Duluth man charged in 'vicious' assault, robbery
The charging document alleges that Holt left, only to return to hide in bushes before "emerging to ambush the victim in his own garage." He allegedly struck the victim with a can, wrapped his arm around the victim's neck and dragged him to the rear of the garage, where the 78-year-old was stabbed multiple times with an awl, a woodworking tool similar to an ice pick.
The victim suffered several injuries to the face and head as well as puncture wounds to the chest, including above his heart. He also suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung and injuries to the neck and throat, according to the complaint.
Holt was allegedly found driving the victim's Ford near Scanlon later that day. He allegedly told Carlton County deputies that he was looking to purchase the truck and was test-driving it. Arresting officers noted he had a fresh cut on his wrist and apparent blood on his shoe.
The victim was said to remain in a local hospital as of Tuesday, with the full extent of his injuries still unknown. He was not listed as a patient at St. Luke's on Friday afternoon; an Essentia representative did not immediately respond to a request from the News Tribune, which is not naming the victim at this time.
Holt is scheduled to be back in court July 13.