UPDATE: Charges filed against murder suspect arrested at Fargo apartment complex

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SWAT situation(Valley News Live)
Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 9:58 AM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - UPDATE: Official charges have now been filed against the man accused of stabbing his new wife to death before driving over 200 miles to hide from police in a Fargo apartment.

44-year-old James Nyonteh is charged in Hennepin County, Minn. with one felony count of second-degree murder and remains in custody in Cass County until he can be extradited back to the Twin Cities area.

Champlin Police say 35-year-old Peachu Yates was found just after 9:30 p.m. on March 28 lying in a yard, covered in blood and not breathing. Despite lifesaving measures, Yates was unable to be saved. Court documents say one of Yates’ children was standing next to Yates screaming that ‘he killed her!’

One witness told officers she had been on the phone with Yates arrived to the home she was staying at in Champlin, and stated Yates told her Nyonteh, Yates’ husband of only seven months, was also at the home and had a knife. Court documents say Nyonteh was under investigation for a criminal sexual conduct case, so Yates and her children had moved out of the family home and were staying with family in Champlin. Yates also had a no contact order out against Nyonteh at the time of the incident, according to documents.

At the Champlin home, Nyonteh told Yates he just wanted to talk and soon after the phone call between Yates and the witness was disconnected, documents say. The witness then stated she called the other residents of the home and told them to go check on Yates. When they did, documents say Yates was already laying bleeding and unresponsive in the yard.

Another witness told officers that he heard a scream, looked outside and saw an SUV speed away from the scene and run a red light.

Brooklyn Park Police later located Yates’ vehicle unoccupied where documents say blood, a bloody knife and a hatchet were found.

Police in Fargo stated they received a tip James Nyonteh was either heading to the Fargo-area or was already in the metro around 4:15 a.m. Tuesday. The Red River Valley SWAT team was later called to Dakota Park Apartments which is located in the 3100 block of 34rd Ave. S., and arrested Nyonteh without incident.

An autopsy found Yates died from multiple sharp force injuries to her head and chest.

Yates has several friends in Fargo-Moorhead area who say she was a peaceful, fun and loving woman, and ask for thoughts and prayers for her children and family in the days and weeks ahead.

If convicted, Nyonteh faces up to 40 years in prison.

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