The man whose plea was denied by the judge a month ago, went to court again today and the Guilty Plea is being approvedFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - For the second time, a Fargo native has admitted his guilt to stabbing and killing two people in Fargo last November.
By: Kay Cooley, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - For the second time, a Fargo native has admitted his guilt to stabbing and killing two people in Fargo last November.
In a bizarre move a month ago - David Stevens pleaded guilty from his first hearing - against his attorney's advice the judge denied the plea.
Today was different.
In the last month David Stevens has undergone a complete mental health evaluation, today we learned he is mentally fit to continue in court and still wants to plead guilty.
Judge Steven Marquart: “Count one is murder, charged out as double A felony. How do you plead, sir?”
David Stevens: “Guilty, your honor.”
Marquart: “Count two is also murder, charged out as double A felony. How do you plead?”
David Stevens: “Guilty, sir.”
It's the second time David Stevens has pleaded guilty in the brutal stabbing deaths of his ex girlfriend Sam Wickenheiser and Ward Berg.
But only the first time Judge Marquart accepted them after reviewing a psych evaluation.
Marquart: “You feel that you were fit to proceed and you understand the proceedings here today?
Stevens: Yes sir I do.”
The evaluation found Stevens does have mental health issues, but none that will affect his decision to plead guilty in court.
Tristan Van de Streek/Cass Co. Asst. State's Attorney: “We're pleased with the results today. Mr. Stevens entered guilty pleas to the two charged offenses.”
Nick Thornton/Defense Attorney: “As you can tell from the last time that we scheduled the hearing, ultimately it was his choice, even though it was against my advice then, it wasn't against my advice now.”
Back in December Stevens gave graphic testimony saying he and his wife drove to Wickenheiser's apartment from South Dakota.
Stevens went inside and stabbed both Wickenhesier and Ward.
Wickenhesier came running outside with a knife in her head.
Stevens: “This ain't the first time I killed somebody, it ain't going to be the last. Send me to a place with a bunch of _____ pedophiles, everyone I get ahold of is dead. Is that normal for you?”
He says he had a psychotic breakdown- not even realizing what he did.
Stevens:” If at any point David would have snapped into it, David would have stopped. Because David wouldn't have hurt Samantha. I'm haunted by what I did. I killed the girl I love.”
But today, he sat quietly in court- his guilt in this double homicide, now accepted.
Thornton: “Ultimately whether or not he was competent and fit to proceed is a separate issue from whether he is criminally responsible or not.”
The judge did order a presentencing investigation, including another mental health component.
He did not set a sentencing date, but Stevens’ faces life in prison without parole.