An aggravated assault charge against a Rolla man accused of stabbing another man in a Grand Forks apartment in November was elevated to attempted murder on Wednesday.

Dickie Lee Demery, 38, could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The previous charge of aggravated assault held a maximum sentence of five years behind bars. He’s also facing a felony charge of terrorizing on allegations that he made verbal threats against the arresting officer’s family.

Officers were called to 1109 N. 39th St. on Nov. 6 just before 3 p.m. on a reported stabbing, according to an affidavit for Demery’s arrest.

Detective David Buzzo said a wheelchair-bound 65-year-old man had blood soaking through the front of his shirt and said Demery had stabbed him, according to an affidavit. Demery reportedly had blood covering his hands and officers handcuffed him immediately.

The victim was taken to Altru Hospital by ambulance and underwent emergency surgery, the affidavit said. He was stabbed in the upper abdomen and his heart had been punctured, according to the court document.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

Demery told officers the blood on his hands was caused because he’d done pushups on his knuckles, though officers said there were no injuries to match his story.

Officers were interviewed the victim in the hospital nine days later and the affidavit said he recalled Demery saying “I’m going to kill you” before stabbing him. The men knew each other and were drinking inside the victim’s apartment when the stabbing took place, according to an affidavit. The victim was able to make his way out of the apartment and a neighbor called 911, the court document said.

DNA was taken from the knife believed to have stabbed the victim. Demery declined to provide a DNA sample and is facing a charge of disobedience of a court order.

Demery told the arresting officer “I’ll kill your daughter” and “you better watch your family when I get out,” the affidavit said. The terrorizing charge holds a five-year maximum sentence.

Demery was scheduled for a final hearing on Thursday afternoon, but because the charge was amended he will appear in court Friday morning to address bond and set a plea hearing on the new charge.