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Woman charged after allegedly strangling man, leaving him tied up in St. Paul apartment

Evonne Tonette Sharkey. Photo: Ramsey County
Evonne Tonette Sharkey.

Updated: October 29, 2019 03:59 PM

A St. Paul woman has been charged with murder and manslaughter in connection to the death of a man found dead in St. Paul Sunday.

Court records show that Evonne Tonette Sharkey, 37, is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

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St. Paul police said Sharkey reported that a man had tried to sexually assault her at an apartment in the 600 block of Front Avenue. She told officers she had overpowered the man and left him tied up, but when officers arrived, the man was found tied up with a cloth in his mouth and was pronounced dead.

Police identified the man as 65-year-old Steven Dennis Malone.

According to a criminal complaint, officers went to the Days Inn on University Avenue to speak with Sharkey, after she had reported being raped by Malone.

The complaint states Sharkey claimed she had met Malone in a park on a few occasions, but saw him again on Saturday at about 4:15 p.m. She said Malone asked her to help style his girlfriend's hair, so they went to his apartment and then Sharkey, Malone and one of Malone's neighbors drank together. She then said she woke up to Malone groping her, and told him to stop.

Sharkey told officers she had gone into a bathroom when Malone came in and tried sexually assaulting her, which resulted in a struggle. The complaint states Sharkey claimed Malone choked her and hit her, then raped her. They then went to his room and argued, and Sharkey said Malone again tried to have sex with her, but she fought back and choked him out.

According to the complaint, Sharkey said when Malone was unconscious she bound him with tape, gathered her clothes and purse and fled the apartment. After getting back to the Days Inn, she told her husband she'd been raped and he told her to call police.

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During the sexual assault examination, the complaint states Sharkey said she and Malone had fought three or four times. The first time she choked him was after he came in while she was in the bathroom, the second time was when they were in his bedroom and he tried to have sex with her again. When asked what was going through her mind with everything happening, she allegedly said, "To fight — show him I was stronger than him. I was drunk."

The complaint states officers found Malone tied up and naked with a hand towel shoved into his mouth and a blanket over him. He wasn't breathing when officers arrived. Medics then responded and pronounced him dead. Officers didn't note any signs of struggle in the apartment, the complaint states.

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It also states that when Sharkey overheard radio transmissions indicating Malone was unresponsive, she said he was breathing when she left, but was aware something was wrong with him.

Officers executed a search warrant on Sharkey's Days Inn room and found Malone's cellphone, a watch and rings in a black bag. The complaint states her husband told police Sharkey is a crack addict and hadn't seen her for 14 hours until she got back to the Days Inn at about 4 a.m. Sunday saying she'd been raped. He also told officers Sharkey said she didn't know if she hurt the man or not.

Sharkey later told police she never meant to hurt Malone, but said she didn't know he was that crazy and noted there was alcohol involved. She then said she had choked him three times, according to the complaint — when she started to get her clothes together, then again after he came to, then again after she had already started tying him up.

She also said she tries to choke her husband out sometimes, but he never goes out because he knows how to lock his neck, the complaint states.

The other woman Sharkey said was at the apartment with her and Malone told officers Malone claimed he and Sharkey had sex and Sharkey didn't deny it was consensual. She also said Sharkey offered her crack cocaine in the roughly 30 minutes she was at Malone's apartment. The woman said she then went back to her own apartment, but returned at about 2 a.m. to check on Malone. While she heard voices from the bedroom, she told officers it didn't sound like arguing or struggling, the complaint states.

Officers again talked to Sharkey and she denied tying up Malone was part of any sex act, the complaint states. She said "We played all day," but when asked what that meant, she replied that she didn't know. Sharkey again denied Malone was dead or unconscious when he was tied up, as the medical examiner suggested, and she then asked for a lawyer, the complaint states.

The Medical Examiner's Office said Malone's cause of death was asphyxia due to strangulation.

According to the complaint, Sharkey has a prior conviction for third-degree assault.

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