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Suspect in Detroit Lakes crossbow slaying to undergo evaluation

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By Vickie Gerdes / DL Newspapers

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DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – The man accused of killing a woman with a crossbow in his downtown Detroit Lakes apartment last April will undergo a court-ordered evaluation by a licensed psychologist.

Attorneys for David Lee Stensrud, 57, have filed a notice of mental illness defense and a motion for an examination by a qualified psychologist, according to Becker County Attorney Gretchen Thilmony.

Becker County District Court Judge Joseph Evans granted the motion Monday. According to court documents, once the exam is complete, a report will be filed with the court that includes a diagnosis of Stensrud’s mental condition at the time of the alleged offense.

The order signed by Evans states that the evaluation and report will be done by Fargo psychologist Nancy Hein-Kolo.

“We will wait until that report is finished to schedule the next hearing, which will depend on the findings in the report,” Thilmony said in a statement.

Stensrud was charged in the death of Geraldine Kading, 69, of rural Dent. According to the criminal complaint, officers were called to Stensrud’s apartment just before 3 p.m. April 10 for a welfare check after receiving a report of a potential murder-suicide.

Kading was found unresponsive inside Stensrud’s Washington Avenue apartment with an arrow protruding from her chest.

Officers also found Stensrud lying on the floor of a bedroom with an arrow protruding from his chest. A crossbow was lying on the bed next to him.

He was taken by ambulance to Essentia Health-St. Mary’s in Detroit Lakes, then subsequently transported to a Fargo hospital for treatment. He remained there for a couple of weeks before being taken to the Becker County Jail, where he remains in custody.

Stensrud’s bail was set at $1 million after his first appearance on charges of first- and second-degree murder last May.

Minnesota court records show that Stensrud has a violent past and is a convicted sex offender. He pleaded guilty in Clay County District Court to felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1998 after he was accused of having sexual contact with someone under 16 in May 1997. Stensrud was listed as living in Halstad at the time.

In 1999, Stensrud pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct after a 16-year-old girl told police Stensrud had sexually abused her since she was 12. Stensrud lived in Hitterdal at the time, according to court records.

Stensrud was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for the crime. However, Stensrud was released after serving about 11 years of his sentence.

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