Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Semaji Jamal Clemons, age 30 of Inver Grove Heights, pled guilty today to one count each of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree (Not Premeditated), and Burglary in the First Degree, in connection with a home invasion where a mother and her minor son were assaulted in Inver Grove Heights. Judge Tracy Perzel ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set the sentencing for June 15, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. in Hastings, at which time, the charge of Assault in the First Degree will be dismissed.
On July 19, 2019 around 3:00 p.m., officers responded to a residence on a report of an assault. Upon entering the home, officers heard a woman crying in a back bedroom. Blood was observed all over the floor. As they approached the bedroom, Clemons exited the bedroom. He was observed to have blood on his pants and shoes. It was determined that the woman had several injuries, including puncture wounds in her back and a deep laceration on the front of her neck. She received medical attention at the scene.
The woman told police that Clemons entered her residence and went into her son's bedroom. He grabbed her son by the neck and brought him into the room she was in. Clemons assaulted both of them, punching them in the head several times. Her son told police Clemons repeatedly told them both “you're going to die". Her son ran to a neighbor to get help and returned with a box cutter and tried to use it to get Clemons away from his mother. Clemons took the box cutter and used it to inflict the injuries to the woman.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint at Criminal Complaint Search. While in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at Inmate Search.
Backstrom commented: “We are pleased this Defendant has taken responsibility for his egregious conduct by pleading guilty. It is hard to comprehend this type of violent attack upon a mother and her 13-year-old son in their home by a complete stranger. The son was a true hero as he ran for help and returned to protect his mother. We are extremely thankful that the victims have recovered from their physical injuries and we wish them the best as they deal with the continuing emotional trauma of this serious and violent crime."
Backstrom praised Cassandra Shepherd, Assistant County Attorney who prosecuted this case. Backstrom thanked the Inver Grove Heights Police Department for their thorough investigation of this case.
If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.