A 19-year-old Rapid City man pleaded not guilty Thursday to accusations he tried to kill his girlfriend during an argument.
Charles Lakota is charged with attempted first-degree murder for allegedly stabbing 21-year-old Ashley Marshall with a knife in November, causing a life-threatening injury, according to court records.
He also is facing aggravated assault and false imprisonment charges in the incident.
Marshall was taken to Rapid City Regional Hospital for “a life-threatening stab wound to her neck and a less severe laceration on her forearm,” states a police report obtained from the Pennington County Courthouse. Her face was described as swollen and red, her lips swollen and bloody.
Marshall reportedly told investigators Lakota stabbed her with a long, serrated kitchen knife in their apartment porch on the morning of Nov. 14, after she told Lakota she was considering leaving him.
Lakota allegedly kneed and kicked her in the face once she screamed for help, then ordered her to wash off the blood in the shower when they saw passersby.
Lakota supposedly told her if anyone asked how she got injured, to say “she did this to herself while ‘cutting potatoes,’” according to the police report. Marshall got into the shower and passed out.
Marshall told investigators only she, Lakota and their toddler son were at home that time. She regained conscious with the sound of banging on the bathroom door and saw Lakota’s mother, who took her to the hospital.
Lakota was arrested in their apartment that afternoon, and their son was handed over to the Department of Social Services for temporary custody.
Police said they found some blood on the apartment wall and floor, as well as a knife with blood on it on the sidewalk outside the apartment building.
In an interview with investigators, according to the police report, Lakota said he had been drinking with Marshall earlier that day and “claimed to have blacked out during the time frame of the assault, due to alcohol consumption.” He said he didn't remember the incident.
He is being held at the county jail on a $250,000 bond, and is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 18.
Lakota’s most serious charge, attempted murder, carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison; his assault charge, up to 15 years.