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Crookston man arrested in fatal stabbing of father

Jacob Abel

CROOKSTON - Police arrested a Crookston man in the North Broadway Apartment building here Sunday night as the suspect in the stabbing death of his father, 58-year-old Jerome Anthony Abel.

Before police detained 27-year-old Jacob Anthony Abel, he stood, bloodied, holding a knife in the apartment hallway for nearly 10 minutes yelling that he committed the crime, according to a police release and a neighbor in the apartment.

The resident, who asked not to be named, said Abel was screaming in the hallway, yelling "I killed that (expletive)," and admitted the crime to the police once they arrived.

Another resident living down the hall made the call to Crookston police, who arrived at the building at 9:45 p.m. to find Jacob Abel in the hallway. He was detained without further incident and taken to the Northwest Regional Corrections Center in Crookston.

Police checked Jerome Abel's apartment and found him dead of multiple stab wounds. On Monday morning, his body was transported to the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Forensic Pathology for an autopsy.

Another resident who lived below Abel's apartment but didn't want to be named said she believed the two men were involved in a fight in the apartment last Thursday.

Jacob Abel is scheduled to make his first court appearance today, and police say they are considering the case a homicide.

The woman said Jacob Abel hadn't been himself lately and he'd seemed irritated and agitated. She said Jacob Abel had a cast on a broken wrist for about two weeks.

She said Jerome Abel always seemed nice, and had invited her to bring her children by his apartment for Halloween.

She did and said that later Jerome Abel told her "it meant a lot to him" that she brought her kids over.

The woman considered herself lucky, as normally she would have been walking through the halls to go outside.

"Normally, I'd go out to smoke at that time," she said.

She left a flower outside Abel's apartment Monday morning and said she wasn't the only fortunate one.

"The neighbor across the hall will sit out in the hallway and work on his computer," she said. "He has a 1-year-old. It's a family-oriented place, so it can happen anywhere."

She said she explained to her daughter Monday morning that something bad had happened, but found out shortly after that children on the school bus were already discussing the incident Monday minutes later. She had to pick her daughter up early from school.

"It was traumatizing for her," she said.

The woman estimated that Jerome Abel moved into the apartment a year and a half ago and Jacob Abel had lived their periodically since then.

The Minnesota BCA is assisting the Crookston Police Department on the case, which is still under investigation.

Minnesota BCA crime lab arrived Sunday night and secured the scene before processing it.

Jacob Abel was convicted of disorderly conduct in Polk County last November.