A 50-year-old St. Paul woman is facing attempted murder charges after her boyfriend called police to say she woke him to slit his throat, saying, "This is the last day you'll see my eyes."
St. Paul police officers were called by the victim at about 1:48 a.m. on Monday, who said he had fled his apartment after the woman he lives with cut his neck with a knife.
Responding officers found the man lying in the lobby of the apartment building located at 627 Aurora Avenue, holding a bloody white shirt against the left side of his neck in an attempt to stem the flow of blood. As police assisted him in applying pressure to the wound, he told them Dawn Peel caused his injury.
According to the criminal complaint, he explained that she woke him up and asked if he loved her while kneeling over him. He said he did, but he said she then told him, "This is the last time you're going to see me."
The victim said she then sliced his neck with a large knife, sawing at his neck like she was slaughtering a "goat" or a "cow," but he was able to push her away, grab his cell phone, and escape.
The victim was admitted to Regions Hospital in critical but stable condition, and he required surgery for the 5.5-inch gash that curved up and down on his neck and was estimated at a half an inch deep. Doctors used 23 staples to close the laceration, which did not hit his artery.
When police went to the apartment, they found the door was unlocked with a security latch holding it about 2 inches open. When police knocked and asked for someone to open the door, a woman responded saying she was too scared because "he might be there."
Peel eventually opened the door, and police say she was completely nude. Her hair was wet, but her face, the right side of her body and her right leg had slight blood stains on them; however, she had no visible injury.
Police also noticed there was pink-tinted water in the sink and bathtub. Officers also found a large knife with water and diluted blood on it in a kitchen drawer.
When asked what happened, Peel explained she was sleeping in the bedroom when her boyfriend came in and told her, 'They cut me." She said he was trying to stop the blood flow and left the door wide open, saying whoever cut him must have walked in.
Peel soon told police she had been beaten by the victim, repeatedly saying, "He beat me up. He's always have been [sic] beating me up."
When asked if she had been assaulted, she pointed to her knee and said it hurt; however, police saw no visible injuries. When asked why she did not call 911 when her boyfriend told her had been cut, she said, "I don't know."
Officers noticed that Peel had alcohol on her breath, and she replied "not enough" when asked how much she had drank.
Police then suggested she clothe herself. As she was wrapping herself in a robe, she told them, "It was just me and him tonight, but I did not call because I know he is going to blame it on me."
In a follow-up interview at the hospital, the victim said his relationship with Peel began in December 2011 and she often stayed with him at his apartment; however, she had been drinking and acting mentally unstable recently. He told police she spent most of Sunday drinking and had injured her knee in a drunken fall, and he had told her she had 24 hours to check herself into a hospital.
The victim said he then left the apartment and returned later that night to find she was intoxicated. He told police he cooked dinner for them and she went to the bedroom to lie down. Not wanting to disturb her, he set up a mat and blankets on the living room floor and fell asleep there.
According to the criminal complaint, Peel got up to eat dinner and fed the cat before kneeling next to the victim and asking him twice if he loved her. The charges allege that after he replied that he did, she asked him to look into his eyes and told him, "This is the last day you'll see my eyes."
The victim told police Peel kissed his forehead before, "BOOM! The knife."
In his interview with police, the victim said Peel selected the knife because she knows how extremely sharp it is, and he believes she intended to kill him because she had physically assaulted him before and had threatened with him a knife a few weeks earlier, vowing to take revenge on him "while [he] was sleeping."
Peel has no known previous convictions on domestic violence-related offenses, but the victim described her as controlling and jealous.
Peel declined an interview when she was taken into custody. She faces a second-degree murder charge and a second-degree assault charge.