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Trial set for Virginia man accused of killing ex-girlfriend

Derek Malevich could spend the rest of his life in prison if found guilty of fatally stabbing Kristen Bicking in May 2021.

Malevich,Derek.jpg
Derek Edward Malevich
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VIRGINIA — A late-winter trial has been scheduled for an Iron Range man accused of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend last year.

Derek Edward Malevich, 42, will go before a jury Feb. 27 in State District Court in Virginia. He faces possible the possibility of parole if convicted of the premeditated murder of Kristen Ann Bicking.

Kristen Ann Bicking
Kristen Ann Bicking.
Contributed / Family of Kristen Bicking

Bicking, 32, was killed inside Malevich's Virginia apartment on May 12, 2021. The defendant allegedly told a dispatcher that he had returned home and was attacked by two intruders in his kitchen before he fought back and killed one, who he then discovered to be Bicking.

But authorities said his account was inconsistent with physical evidence recovered at the scene. According to court documents, Malevich did not have any physical injuries, and nearly all blood was contained to the living room. Additionally, he was already facing a pending felony domestic assault charge against Bicking from the previous fall.

Malevich in January rejected a plea agreement that would have resolved the homicide case and several other pending matters, resulting in a sentence in excess of 40 years.

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As a result, St. Louis County prosecutor Chris Florey convened a grand jury in February, securing an indictment on charges of premeditated first-degree murder and first-degree murder while committing domestic abuse with a past pattern of domestic abuse. Both counts carry mandatory life sentences, with the premeditated charge precluding any opportunity for parole.

Malevich is additionally charged with a count of intentional second-degree murder.

Defense attorney Bruce Williams has indicated to the court that he will argue his client was intoxicated at the time of the alleged offense. While not absolving criminal wrongdoing, evidence of intoxication can be taken into consideration as it relates to the standards of proof for the defendant's intent or state of mind at the time of the incident.

Malevich is already serving prison time, currently at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. He pleaded guilty in March to first-degree possession of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine — the result of a search warrant that was executed by the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force at his residence just one day before Bicking's death.

Judge Andrew Peterson in May sentenced Malevich to a guideline term of 65 months in prison. He would be eligible for supervised release in December 2024, pending the outcome of the homicide case and his 2020 domestic violence charge.

Peterson will preside over the murder trial, which is scheduled to last up to three weeks.

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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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