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Duluth man charged with stabbing friend

The victim suffered at least six wounds and a collapsed lung in the Gary-New Duluth attack.

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DULUTH — A man who was stabbed at least a half-dozen times in the Gary-New Duluth neighborhood Tuesday had attempted to quell recent tensions with his friend, according to a criminal complaint.

Jerome Brian Voorhees, 45, of Duluth, was arraigned Friday on two assault charges for allegedly attacking Joseph Daniel Curtis, 42, who later told police that he was seeking to deescalate a situation involving their girlfriends.

Jerome Brian Voorhees.jpg
Jerome Brian Voorhees

The complaint states that the assault was witnessed by Curtis' two adult daughters, one of whom captured the entire incident on video. Authorities said Curtis was hospitalized with six or seven wounds to his neck, ribs and arm, along with a collapsed lung.

The stabbing was reported shortly after 4:30 p.m. on the 300 block of 96th Avenue West. In an interview at the Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center emergency room, Curtis told police that his car was being dropped off by a friend and that Voorhees arrived in another vehicle to give that man a ride.

The complaint states that Curtis approached Voorhees in an attempt to discuss communications between their girlfriends, "possibly involving allegations of infidelity." Voorhees allegedly got out of the car and held his hand behind his back, prompting Curtis to ask if he had a firearm.

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"Mr. Curtis remembers hearing the defendant saying that Mr. Curtis should fight or come at him," the complaint states. "Mr. Curtis said they began fist fighting and he was blocking punches but later realized that he was getting stabbed by the defendant multiple times."

Investigators said the video confirmed his account, showing a verbal confrontation that led to a physical fight with Voorhees holding what appears to be a knife and yelling, "He don't want to dance with me!"

Voorhees was taken into custody without incident by the Duluth Police Department on Wednesday. St. Louis County prosecutor Vicky Wanta said there is evidence that Voorhees "has a mindset of potential self-harm (and) destroyed his phone to evade apprehension after the assault."

Judge Shawn Pearson granted Wanta's request to set Voorhees' unconditional bail at $500,000 and deny conditional release before any mental health evaluation is completed.

Court records show Voorhees has a few prior convictions, including domestic assault and fifth-degree assault, but most dating back more than 20 years.

His next court appearance is set for Dec. 27.

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Authorities said they are looking into "complaints of assaults from victims" related to the Vineyard Church.

Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or tolsen@duluthnews.com.
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