Man Arrested for Stabbing Elderly Man & Leading Authorities on M - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Man Arrested for Stabbing Elderly Man & Leading Authorities on Manhunt

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Police have arrested a 23-year-old man after he stabbed an elderly man Thursday night and led authorities on an overnight manhunt. The Beltrami County Sheriff says it all started about 9:20 p.m. on Thursday.

Mert Scripture 71, answered a knock at the front door of his house, northwest of Bemidji, Minnesota. Orland James Spears, 23, of Redby, asked to use the telephone to make a call.  Scripture allowed Spears to make a phone call from outside his front door.  After completing the call, Scripture closed his front door and turned away when suddenly Spears broke through the door and stabbed Scripture twice in the chest and took off running.

Beltrami County Deputies and Bemidji Police came to the scene after a 911 call and Scripture was taken to a Sanford Emergency room for treatment.

A CodeRED alert was sent out to people in the area telling them to lock their doors and watch for Spears.  Officers and investigators flooded the area and began to conduct a manhunt.  A Beltrami County K-9 officer was called to the scene and the canine began tracking the suspect through the woods.  After several hours of searching the K-9 lost the scent of the suspect in the wooded area west of Bemidji.

During this time it was learned the suspect had stolen a car on Red Lake which he had used to drive down into the neighborhood.  Investigators were able to determine the identity of the suspect as Orland Spears which gave investigators more leads to follow while attempting to apprehend Spears.

Just after 5:00 a.m. on Friday, the Beltrami County Communications Center got phone calls from people in the neighborhood who saw Spears walking near homes in the area.  Deputies found Spears in a garage, but he refused to lower his knife and surrender to police, so a K-9 was used to take the suspect down.

Spears was arrested and transported to the hospital for his injuries and taken into custody at the Beltrami County Jail.  The investigation will be presented to the Beltrami County Attorney’s office for consideration of serious assault and burglary charges.
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