A Minneapolis man has been charged in connection with the fatal stabbing of a Mounds View man he met on a phone chat line, telling police he blacked out and didn't remember the incident.
Stephen Edward Gooler, 51, has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder according to charges filed in Ramsey County district court.
According to the complaint, Gooler told police he and the victim, 49-year-old Perry Paulson, had met for the first time on June 17 after connecting on a gay male phone chat line called MegaMates. The two met again at Paulson's apartment in Mounds View on June 20, where the two drank vodka and made dinner together. Gooler told police he proceeded black out the rest of the evening.
Apartment neighbors called police when Paulson knocked on their door covered in blood, saying "Help, help, he stabbed me," and "Help, I'm dying." Neighbors said they saw Gooler standing behind Paulson, but he ran back to Paulson's apartment and said, "He stabbed me first," the complaint said.
When police arrived, they found Gooler lying naked and unresponsive on the ground. He told police he had fallen from the third floor balcony of the building.
Paulson was pronounced dead at the scene after neighbors had attempted to stop the blood flow with a towel.
Upon casing the apartment complex, investigators found large amounts of blood in the building's entryway, carpet and ceiling. They also recovered two bloody knives and a pair of bloody scissors in Paulson's apartment. The medical examiner's report says scissors were used to cut Paulson's artery and pierce his lung.
Gooler told police he didn't believe Paulson would hurt him because he is a gentle man, and said, "If there was a scuffle, it was not serious because we liked each other."
When police told Gooler that Paulson was dead, Gooler did not react at first, and attempted to cry with limited success, the complaint said. Gooler continued to tell police he didn't remember anything, but said, "I can't believe that I stabbed him." He also told police he perhaps needs a lawyer.
Gooler said that in 1988 he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for wielding a knife at someone while he was "blacked out."
Gooler fractured three vertebrae and had bleeding on his brain as the result of his alleged balcony fall. He could serve a maximum 80-year sentence.