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Willmar, Minn., woman charged with assault with a knife

WILLMAR — Amanda Jean Steffens, 33, of Willmar, made her first court appearance Monday on a felony charge of second-degree assault, plus gross misdemeanor charges of driving while impaired.

She allegedly assaulted a man with a knife Sunday after he pulled her vehicle out of the ditch south of Willmar.

Unconditional bail was set at $25,000. Steffens also faces a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault. Her next appearance is Feb. 11 in Kandiyohi County District Court. According to the charges, the drunken driving charges are for having a prior conviction in 2006 and for driving while impaired with children in the vehicle.

According to the complaint, Kandiyohi County sheriff’s deputies were called just before 5 a.m. Sunday to the 1500 block of 75th Av-enue Southwest on a report that a woman, later identified as Steffens, had left a residence with children in the vehicle and was intoxicated.

The deputies located the vehicle near the intersection of 75th Avenue and U.S. Highway 71 Southwest and found that Steffens exhibited signs of intoxication.

She allegedly admitted to driving with two children in the car and that she’d consumed alcohol Saturday after the Polar Plunge in Spicer. A preliminary breath test showed a 0.18 blood-alcohol content and she was arrested and taken to the Law Enforcement Center. Another test also showed a 0.18 BAC. The legal limit for driving is 0.08.

One of the children was interviewed by a deputy and said that Steffens had taken them in the vehicle, that they’d slid into the ditch and that a man had come and pulled the vehicle out of the ditch. The child said that Steffens and the man argued and then got into a physical fight.

The man told a deputy that Steffens argued with him and assaulted him with a knife after he took her keys away. He had cuts on his forehead and nose.

Other adults had witnessed the assault or had witnessed Steffen saying that she’d hit the man in the face with the knife.

Steffens was interviewed and allegedly said that she’d had six drinks and then went to a residence and slept for an hour. She said she then left with the children to go to another residence, slid into the ditch and hit a pole. She claimed the man waved the knife at her and that she grabbed the knife and smacked him with it. She also allegedly admitted to having too much to drink the night before and that it was not safest situation for the children.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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