W’bago man charged with attempted murder

BLUE EARTH – Joseph Dean Conklin of Winnebago has been charged with second-degree attempted murder after allegedly trying to strangle and stab a woman on Thursday.

Conklin, 47, had his initial court appearance this week in Faribault County before Judge Douglas Richards, who set an omnibus hearing for Feb. 24.

Conklin faces four separate counts – three felonies and one misdemeanor.

Count 1 is attempted murder in the second degree, with intent, not premeditated. It carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

Count 2 is assault in the second degree with a dangerous weapon. It carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison, a $14,000 fine or both.

Count 3 is domestic assault by strangulation. It carries a maximum sentence of not more than three years of imprisonment or a fine of $5,000 or both.

Count 4 is domestic assault, misdemeanor. It carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.

According to the complaint:

On Feb. 6, at 3:17 a.m., law enforcement responded to a report of a domestic assault at a residence on Second Avenue SW in Winnebago.

When officers arrived, they located a woman seated on the couch in the living room. She had a small amount of blood on her hands.

When the officers asked if she was injured, she said, “Not seriously,” and then showed the officers a spot on her abdomen that was red with blood where the skin was broken.

She then handed officers a knife and said Conklin had attempted to stab her with it, but she fought to get it away from him.

Officers moved to the kitchen, where they found Conklin seated on the floor with his back to the cupboards. He was holding a knife to his own stomach.

Conklin was told several times to put the knife down. When he tensed up and started to push the knife toward himself, he was Tased.

An officer then took a statement from the woman. She said she and Conklin had been drinking beer. Conklin wanted more to drink and they began to argue, and then physically struggle.

The struggle went to the floor and then Conklin got up and told the woman he was going to kill her. Conklin then went into the living room and returned with the knife. Conklin again attacked the woman, this time with the knife. She fell backward onto the couch and, in doing so, grabbed the knife and was able to get it away from Conklin.

Conklin then grabbed the woman by the throat and began to choke her. She then pushed the knife under the couch and struggled to get away from Conklin. She said during this struggle her glasses were knocked off. The officers found one lens from her glasses on the floor next to the couch. The officers also observed that the point of the knife was similar in size to the mark on the woman’s abdomen.