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Charges: Man fatally stabs woman in front of police after Taser was ineffective

The victim has been identified as a 53-year-old from rural Bagley.
Christopher Colgrove


A 27-year-old northern Minnesota man has been charged with 2nd-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of a woman. 

Christopher James Colgrove, of Bagley, was charged Thursday in Clearwater County District Court for the killing of 53-year-old Dawn Louise Swenson, who was living at her elderly mother's house in rural Bagley when Colgrove allegedly stabbed her twice before a police officer could stop him.

The criminal complaint details the incident, which began around 8:30 p.m. Sept. 7 when Colgrove called 911 requesting medical assistance at his home on the 13100 block of 336th St. in rural Bagley. 

An officer with the Bagley Police Department was the first to arrive at the scene, at which point the complaint says Colgrove fled. The officer searched for Colgrove and found him at a neighboring residence, where he could hear a struggle happening inside the home. 

The officer forced his way into the home and witnessed Colgrove struggling with Swenson, so he used his Taser on Colgrove. The complaint says the Taser was "ineffective," while Sheriff Darin Halverson told Forum News Service that the Taser's probe fell out. 

That's when Colgrove stabbed Swenson, causing her to fall down a flight of stairs. The officer tried to apprehend Colgrove but he escaped, with the officer then turning his attention to the Swenson, who was suffered stab wounds to the back of her neck and on the left side of her back. A medical examiner ruled that either stabbed wound "would have likely caused death." 

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Colgrove fled into a nearby wooded area and was arrested early the next morning, according to the sheriff's office. 

Sheriff Halverson noted in the Forum News Service interview that police originally tried to apprehend Colgrove when they first arrived at his residence and he became uncooperative, with the sheriff saying a Taser malfunctioned, allowing Colgrove to get away. 

A motive for the killing is unknown, though the sheriff said Colgrove was high on methamphetamine. 

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