Stevens makes initial court appearance; further details regarding double murderFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Court documents reveal gruesome details about the murder, and the relationships between Stevens and the victims.
By: WDAY Staff Reports , WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Court documents reveal gruesome details about the murder, and the relationships between Stevens and the victims.
Stevens fathered two children with Wickenheiser, who's an ex-girlfriend. He is also married and his wife was there the night of the murder.
According to court documents, Stevens and his wife, April, drove up from Brookings, South Dakota, so that he could pick up some items at his ex-girlfriend’s apartment.
Two calls were made to 911: One from Wickenheiser saying she'd been stabbed; another from Stevens saying he'd stabbed his ex-girlfriend.
The report says April Stevens was waiting for her husband in the parking lot when Wickenhesier, covered with blood, tried to get in the car. April Stevens drove off.
At this time, State's Attorney Birch Burdick says officials believe only one person was involved in the crime.
Birch Burdick- State’s Attorney, Cass County: "If the evidence leads us in the direction that somebody else should be, we'll look at that when that time comes; but as of today, I'm not contemplating that."
When police arrived, they found Wickenhesier dead in the parking lot, with a knife in her head. The body of the other victim, Ward Berg, was found across the street.
Burdick explains Stevens charges.
Burdick: "The charges here are two counts of murder. He is facing a potential max punishment of life in prison without parole."
New information was given in court detailing Stevens’ extensive criminal history dating back to the early 90's, and spreading across the country including abating arrest, harboring a runaway, assault and felony drugs.
In fact, his wife, April, filed a no-contact order against him in 2010 following an incident in which Stevens threatened to kill her.
Due to his extensive history, he is considered a flight risk.
Burdick: "In our court, we have what we often times refer to as frequent fliers, and that tends to happen in cases where domestic matters are. Eat the heart of some of the crimes. I won't comment on whether or how that applies in our current situation."
Stevens has been assigned Nick Thornton as his attorney. His bail is set at $1 million, cash only.
Funeral arrangements have been made for Wickenheiser at Living Waters Lutheran Church in Fargo. A prayer service is set for Tuesday evening. The funeral is 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Wickenheiser's family declined to comment on camera, and we haven't heard from the Bergs.
Stevens’ next court appearance is set for December 27th.