Nicholson Sentenced in West Duluth Stabbing Case

Nicholson Stabbed a man in his Apartment More Than a Dozen Times

DULUTH, Minn. – A Duluth man accused of breaking into another man’s apartment and stabbing him more than a dozen times has been sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for first-degree assault.

In January, Willie Nicholson, 24, broke into the apartment of 20-year-old Benjamins VanDell to find a place to sleep and attacked VanDell with a knife after a phone in the apartment rang startling Nicholson.

Nicholson fled the apartment when VanDell’s girlfriend came home from work.

He later told police he attacked the victim out of fear of being caught and was trying to kill him.

Nicholson was charged with first-degree assault, first-degree burglary and second-degree attempted murder. The charges of first-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder were later dropped.

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