Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that John C. Adams II, age 38 of West St. Paul, has been charged* with one count of Murder in the Second Degree (With Intent) in connection with the fatal stabbing on February 17, 2020, of 68-year-old David Eugene Rahn, a fellow resident at a group home in West St. Paul.
A summary of the allegations contained in the criminal complaint is set forth below:
Around 4:00 a.m. on February 17, 2020, West St. Paul police were dispatched to a group home operated by the Minnesota Department of Human Services on a report of a disturbance between two clients of the group home. The staff member at the group home reported that the disturbance was taking place in the bedroom of 68-year-old David Eugene Rahn. The staff member reported that she heard Rahn screaming for help and when she responded, someone was blocking the door and would not allow her entry. The person blocking the door told the staff member “it was okay." While on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, the staff member reported that it had since gone quiet in Rahn's room and that “something isn't right." It was later determined the second client was John C. Adams II.
An officer arrived at the scene and observed a shirtless black male run from the area of a place of worship located across the street from the group home and enter the group home. This was later determined to be Adams. Officers found Rahn in his room unresponsive and not breathing. They also observed several stab wounds to his neck and back. First responders were unable to revive Rahn and he was declared deceased at the scene. Officers made contact with Adams in his bedroom. Adams told officers that Rahn had “busted into his room" and attacked him. He further reported that the two of them started wrestling, so Adams ran and got a knife to defend himself. Adams went to Rahn's room and claimed that Rahn “was still attacking" him so he defended himself.
When asked about the location of the knife, Adams stated that he threw it away. Officers located two garbage cans near the place of worship across the street from the group home. Upon opening the lid of one of the garbage cans, officers observed a knife inside a white colored garbage bag. During the search, several garbage bags were located one of which contained a serrated kitchen knife that was badly bent and appeared to have apparent blood on it and a pair of gloves that appeared to be soaked in blood.
When later interviewed, Adams told officers that Rahn told him to come to his room at approximately 1:30 a.m. and Rahn then told Adams he had nothing to live for and started stabbing himself. Adams stated that he attempted to grab the knife from Rahn but was unable to do so because Rahn is a “very strong man." Adams stated that he believed Rahn was going to attack him, so he balled up in the corner of the room while Rahn continued to stab himself. Adams stated that after Rahn ran out of strength, he grabbed the knife, exited the group home and went to the place of worship across the street from the group home. According to Adams, he went behind the place of worship near some garbage cans and cried. Adams stated that after he was done crying, he returned to the group home and saw that police officers were present.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office determined that Rahn sustained blunt force trauma to his head along with multiple sharp force injuries to his face, neck, upper body and arms. Rahn suffered at least twenty sharp force injuries to one of his hands, which are consistent with
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint can be found at Criminal Complaint Search. If in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at Inmate Search.
Backstrom extended his sympathy to the family and friends of David Rahn.
Adams made his first court appearance on these charges this morning and bail was set in the amount of $1.5 million without conditions ($1 million with conditions) by Judge Richelle Wahi. His next court appearance was set for March 16, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. in Hastings.
Backstrom thanked the West St. Paul Police Department for their investigation of this case and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension who assisted with the investigation.
If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4438.
*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.