Jurors have acquitted Levi Acre-Kendall on all counts in his trial for fatally stabbing Peter Kelly along the St. Croix River in April. The verdict was read shortly after 11 a.m., according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The jury, selected in Chippewa County, had returned to the Polk County Courthouse Monday morning to resume deliberations in the case of the 20-year-old Cambridge, Minnesota man. Acre-Kendal was on trial in the death of Kelly, a 34-year-old St. Croix Falls resident, this past April. The fatal stabbing followed an argument at Interstate Park on the St. Croix River. Acre-Kendall claimed he acted in self-defense.
After a week of testimony that began last Monday and included 17 witnesses and 100 pieces of evidence, jurors began deliberation about 2:30 Saturday afternoon and met till 8:00 p.m. They then resumed deliberations at 8:30 a.m. Sunday and continued till 8:00 p.m. Sunday night.
Kelly and a fishing partner were on the Minnesota side of the river on April 14. A cross-river argument between the two men, and Acre-Kendall and a group of his friends, culminated when Kelly and his friend drove across the river to confront the group on the Wisconsin side.
That’s when there was a scuffle, with Acre-Kendall allegedly pulling a knife on Kelly, who was stabbed once in the left side of his chest, piercing his heart.