Stayed sentences left suspect out of prison before fatal stabbing, officer shooting

The stayed prison sentences left Hill-Moore free and out of custody at the time of last week's murder.

Meredith Marie Martell (Horvath Funeral Service/Facebook)

The suspect in a fatal domestic stabbing in Marshall, Minn., last week should have been in prison twice over at the time of the murder but wasn’t due to two recently stayed felony sentences in domestic-related cases in Lyon and Hennepin counties.

Jamel Caron Hill-Moore, 41, was shot and killed during the Dec. 17 incident by arriving Marshall police officer Eric Klenken who witnessed the active stabbing of 35-year-old Meredith Marie Martell, according to statements subsequently released by the Marshall Police Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

According to the statements, Officer Klenken responded on Dec. 17 at approximately 2:40 a.m. to a report of a domestic disturbance on the 500 block of Brussels Court. Upon arrival, Klenken was flagged down by a child who directed him into the house. A woman was heard screaming for help from an upstairs bedroom. When Klenken entered the bedroom, Hill-Moore was on top of Martell, stabbing her as she laid on the floor of her bedroom closet. Klenken ordered Hill-Moore to drop the knife, which he refused. Klenken then tried to stun Hill-Moore with a Taser, which appeared to have no effect. After again ordering Hill-Moore to drop the knife without response, Klenken shot Hill-Moore twice.

Three additional Marshall police officers and a Lyon County sheriff’s deputy arrived at the home. They assisted Klenken with providing medical aid to Hill-Moore and Martell. Hill-Moore died at the scene while Martell died Sunday night at a Sioux Falls hospital from multiple stab wounds. Neither Klenken nor the children in the home at the time of the incident were physically hurt.

Minnesota court records show that Hill-Moore was charged in two separate domestic-related cases earlier this year. In January, Hill-Moore was charged with felony domestic assault in Lyon County, and in February, he was charged with felony counts of domestic assault and violation of a no-contact order in Hennepin County.

Within a month of each other in May and June, Hill-Moore was granted stayed prison sentences in both cases under the terms of plea agreements. In each case, Hill-Moore was sentenced to 21 months in prison. However, Judge Peter Cahill in Hennepin County stayed the prison sentence and placed Hill-Moore on probation for three years in May. A month later, Judge Tricia B. Zimmer in Lyon County would stay another 21-month prison sentence, placing Hill-Moore on probation for five years in that county.

The stayed prison sentences left Hill-Moore free and out of custody at the time of last week’s murder and subsequent officer-involved fatal shooting.

Officer Klenken was wearing his body camera during the incident. BCA agents are reviewing the video as part of the active investigation.

The Marshall Police Department asked the BCA to investigate the incident, and once the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings without a charging recommendation to the Lyon County Attorney’s Office for review.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.

 

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.