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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The inability to locate a critical witness has prompted the dismissal of a second-degree assault charge against a Rochester man accused of stabbing another man last year.

28-year-old Bernard Gaines Junior was formally charged in the case back in February. County Attorney Mark Ostrem says the felony assault charge was dropped earlier this week at the direction of the Olmsted County Attorney's office due to the missing witness.

Olmsted County photo
Olmsted County photo
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The criminal case against Gaines alleged that the stabbing occurred while he and another man were arguing about a $200 debt owed by the victim, who told investigators the money was used to purchase drugs and pay his rent. According to the criminal complaint, Gaines was accused of stabbing the man multiple times.

Gaines Jr. Complaint. Olmsted County Court
Gaines Jr. Complaint. Olmsted County Court
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Rochester Police began investigating the case when the victim approached an officer stationed at St. Marys hospital. The man told the officer that he had been stabbed during an altercation at his home in northwest Rochester on the evening of July 20.

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The court document states that Gaines admitted That he went to the victim's house to collect the debt and acknowledged that the two men were involved in a physical fight. However, he denied stabbing the man and told police he did not know why the man had gone to the hospital.

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