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Victim identified, juvenile charged in Duluth homicide

Court records remain confidential, as the suspect is only 15 years old.

A courtroom gavel
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DULUTH — Police have identified the victim of a Friday night homicide in the city's Endion neighborhood.

Karimah Phuly, 19, died from stab wounds, the Duluth Police Department said Tuesday, as a 15-year-old male family member was formally charged in juvenile court with second-degree murder.

Police had been called to the residence at approximately 6:41 p.m. on a "disturbance call," with an adult male reported to have been assaulted, a news release said.

"Officers investigated, spoke to the adult family member, determined that there wasn’t an assault and cleared the scene at approximately 6:55 p.m.," the police department reported.

But officers were summoned back to the scene within 10 minutes — at 7:04 p.m. — for a "medical call." The department said they found Phuly unresponsive with stab wounds at that time; medical personnel pronounced her dead at the scene.

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"This is still a very active and ongoing investigation and once more details become available, we will release them," police said in a statement Tuesday.

Police confirmed that the suspect is 15 years old, not 14 as he initially told officers. They did not disclose his exact relationship to the victim, as he remains subject to juvenile data privacy laws.

Because he is under 16, juvenile delinquency court documents and hearings also will remain confidential unless the teen is eventually certified to stand trial as an adult. State law allows those as young as 14 to be tried as an adult if a court finds that "there is probable cause to believe the child committed a felony-level offense and that there is clear and convincing evidence that public safety is not served by handling the case in juvenile court."

Related Topics: DULUTHHOMICIDEPOLICE
Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or tolsen@duluthnews.com.
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