Domestic assailant gets 17 years

Terrell James Pleasant

Pleads guilty to second-degree attempted murder

A Burnsville man whose history of domestic violence includes an attempted second-degree murder conviction in 2005 pleaded guilty July 13 to the same charge in a 2017 attack.

Terrell James Pleasant was sentenced to 17 years and six months in prison by Dakota County District Judge Joseph Carter. Pleasant, 40, repeatedly stabbed his girlfriend on May 6 at their apartment on Irving Avenue South. The 42-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries.

In a news release, County Attorney James Backstrom express his hope for her “continued recovery.”

“This is another tragic example of domestic violence in our community,” Backstrom said. “We are pleased to have brought this man to justice for this violent crime.”

Pleasant stabbed the woman multiple times with a pair of metal scissors after telling her, “You’re gonna die,” according to the criminal complaint.

Pleasant also allegedly punched her in the face and choked her. The woman’s daughter called 911 at around 8 p.m. May 6 after arriving home and finding her mother covered in blood.

Nearly six hours later police found Pleasant in his vehicle, parked about two miles from the apartment. Police arrested Pleasant after he exited the vehicle and started to walk away.

“I’m sorry for what I did,” Pleasant said as he lay on the ground, according to the complaint.

Pleasant’s history of domestic violence includes an attempted second-degree murder conviction in Scott County in 2005 and fifth-degree assault convictions in 2011 and 2017, the complaint said.

The victim of the May 6 attack suffered 10 stab wounds, a collapsed lung and two neck lacerations, one that required sutures to close, the complaint said. The stab wounds were near her ribs, neck, left cheek and hand. Her left eye was swollen shut.

The woman’s daughter told police she called her mother’s cellphone at about 7:40 p.m. to ask for a ride home from work. Pleasant answered and told her her mother would come to pick her up. He sounded “rushed,” and she could hear her mother yelling in the background, the complaint said.

The daughter got a ride home with a co-worker and arrived to find the door locked. After she knocked and yelled to be let in, Pleasant came to the door covered in blood, walked to his vehicle and left, the complaint said.

Then her mother came walking out, saying Pleasant was trying to kill her. Pleasant had stopped the assault when they heard the pounding on the door, the complaint said.

The woman told police Pleasant “snapped” and punched her in the face four times after arriving home and accusing her of cheating on him, it said. She said he violently twisted her neck about seven times and then grabbed the 4- to 5-inch pair of scissors.

“She described how Pleasant would spread the skin on her neck and hold it tight while he stabbed her,” the complaint said. “She said she jerked and moved away in an attempt to avoid the stabs. She said she was pleading for her life during the stabbings.”

She told police Pleasant had a history of assaulting her.