An Eden Prairie man has been charged in Hennepin County District Court with four counts of assault, including two on unborn twins born prematurely after a June 30 incident.
Donatus Ray Harrell, 41, was arrested July 27 and is charged with first-degree assault causing great bodily harm and domestic assault by strangulation of his girlfriend, and two counts of first-degree assault of an unborn child resulting from assault on a pregnant woman.
According to the police complaint:
Police responded to a report of domestic assault at an Eden Prairie address early on June 30. Harrell’s girlfriend of eight years told officers that he had assaulted her by strangling her, knocking her to the ground and jumping on and striking her stomach after she had fallen to the ground. She told officers that she was 24 weeks pregnant with twins and was experiencing stomach pain and cramping.
Police called paramedics to evaluate the victim who was transported to the hospital where she was held for observation. The next day she was evaluated by an obstetrician who ordered an ultrasound procedure. The ultrasound technician realized that the victim was in labor and close to delivery. An obstetric nurse confirmed that observation.
Doctors performed an emergency cesarean section to deliver her premature sons. They were born at 3:12 and 3:13 p.m., respectively, on June 30.
The two infants were critically ill, intubated and transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit. The babies required life-support medical intervention and remain hospitalized on ventilators.
Harrell, who is custody in lieu of $200,000 bail, has previous convictions for felony domestic violence-related offenses in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, according to the complaint. He also been the subject of at least three prior orders for protection on behalf of women other than the June 30 victim.
Arrest records from Illinois reflect at least four prior arrests for battery, aggravated battery, aggravated battery with a weapon, domestic battery, and stalking, the complaint said.
If convicted, Harrell faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and/or a $30,000 fine for the first-degree assault charge, three years and/or a $5,000 fine for the assault by strangulation, and 15 years and/or a $30,000 fine for each of the unborn child assault charges.
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