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Adult certification in case of teen accused of stabbing Ridgewater student to death is affirmed by appeals court

WILLMAR -- The Minnesota Court of Appeals has affirmed the adult certification of a now 18-year-old Willmar man charged with second-degree murder for the July 2008 death of Adam Kenneth Milton.

In an unpublished opinion filed Tuesday, a three-judge panel affirmed the district court's decision to certify Miles David Edinburgh, identified in the decision by his initials only. "Because appellant failed to rebut the presumptive certification by clear and convincing evidence, we affirm," the judges wrote.

Connie Crowell, first assistant county attorney for Kandiyohi County and the prosecutor in the case, confirmed Wednesday that the court had issued the decision on Edinburgh.

Joseph Parise, an assistant public defender based in Moorhead who is representing Edinburgh, said Thursday that a decision on petitioning to have the matter heard by the Supreme Court had not been made by Edinburgh and his attorneys. "Ultimately, it is Miles' decision," he said.

The murder case against Edinburgh has been on hold since December, when District Judge Jon Stafsholt ordered the adult proceedings stayed pending the appeal. Stafsholt ordered Edinburgh certified as an adult in October.

Edinburgh was 17 at the time of the stabbing of the 21-year-old Ridgewater College student and football player. Milton suffered two stab wounds to the chest during a scuffle and died after he was taken to Rice Memorial Hospital.

Edinburgh was charged after Willmar police were called ar-ound 12:50 a.m. July 20 to the Evergreen Ridge Apartment complex, along the 1300 block of 24th Street No-rthwest.

Officers found a group of people around Milton, began first aid and called for an ambulance. Another man pointed out two stab wounds on Milton's chest and assisted with the first aid administration. Milton was transported to Rice Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:44 a.m.

Police found Edinburgh hiding under a car in a driveway along the 2700 block of 12th Avenue Northwest. He was ordered out at gunpoint and arrested.

A group of men told officers they were at an apartment, heard a knock at the door and opened it to find three men. They told the group to leave, but one of them, later identified as Edinburgh, hung around a vehicle in the parking lot. The men told the teen to leave, and punches and racial slurs were exchanged. Edinburgh then fled, with Milton in pursuit.

Milton and Edinburgh were "scrapping," when Milton fell to the ground. A witness told police Milton said "he poked me with something" before he saw the blood and called police.

Investigators combed the area and found shoes, believed to be Edinburgh's, and a cell phone in a nearby backyard.

Officers located a brushed stainless steel knife with a wood grip protruding from the ground near a group of trees around 8 a.m. the next morning.