Man arrested in connection to West St. Paul stabbing had troubled past, records show

Updated: February 18, 2020 06:16 PM

The man arrested in connection to a deadly stabbing in West St. Paul has had trouble with the law in the past.

Police say 38-year-old John Adams II was living at Christensen House, a state-run group home, where he is accused of stabbing another resident multiple times Monday.


"This was probably one of the most violent scenes our officers have ever encountered," said West St. Paul Police Chief Brian Sturgeon.

5 EYEWITNESS News learned Adams has a history of mental illness and violence that goes back about 20 years.

In May of 2000, Adams was accused of assaulting a woman at a restaurant, throwing a glass in her face, causing severe lacerations.
According to filings from the Department of Human Services, he was deemed "mentally ill and dangerous" and admitted to the Minnesota Security Hospital with psychotic symptoms, such as paranoid ideation and hallucinations.

1 dead, 1 arrested after stabbing in West St. Paul

Those issues appeared to be under control in recent years. After a special review board found Adams' "violence risk was well-managed," he was released back into the community to live at the Christensen House, an adult foster care.

"According to staff, they haven't had any issues with him at the home as far as I know, as far as the police department knows," Sturgeon said. "So it was a surprise to them as well."

Sturgeon also noted that homicide in West St. Paul is very rare, only happening once every couple of years.

The attorney who handled Adams' mental health commitment told 5 EYEWITNESS News Tuesday that he is shocked by what happened. Doug McGuire said, in his 30-year career, he's never had a client who was released to a group home do something like this, calling it "very rare and very unfortunate."

Adams is currently being held on a second-degree murder charge and is expected in court Wednesday.

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Alex Jokich

Copyright 2020 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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