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Sioux Falls woman found stabbed to death; boyfriend charged with murder, manslaughter

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SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota — Authorities charged a Sioux Falls man with murder and manslaughter Thursday after he allegedly stabbed girlfriend 14 times in their apartment.

Michael Martinez, 28, was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter.

Martinez allegedly stabbed 21-one-year-old Beverly Guerra with a kitchen knife during an argument. Prosecutors say Martinez stabbed Guerra in her chest, torso and back. She was found in their apartment around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, and pronounced dead by medical personnel, according to the Argus Leader.

"It appears they were fighting — having a disagreement earlier in the evening," said Lt. Matt Burns of the Sioux Falls Police Department. "What precipitated the violent event, we can only speculate. It obviously got out of hand. We hope the investigation with clarify that."

Martinez appeared in court Thursday and was being held on a $1 million bond. It was not immediately clear whether Martinez had an attorney yet.

Guerra's 3- and 6-year-old children were in a back room during the incident. They were put in the custody of social service officials Thursday.

There's no evidence that Martinez was intoxicated, Burns told the Leader. Police were talking with friends and family Thursday to see if there was a history of violence between the two, although neither party had filed a restraining order against the other, according to court records.

The incident is the third homicide in Sioux Falls this year.

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