Minnesota woman pleads guilty to 2021 stabbing

Morara admits that she intended to kill her victim

A Minnesota woman has pleaded guilty for her role in a vicious attack on a young Fort Dodge mother that left her with significant injuries.

On Monday, Sharon Morara, 21, of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder and one count of first-degree burglary, both Class B felonies.

Morara is accused of helping her boyfriend, Marcus Western, break into the home of Ciane Smith on Nov. 2, 2021, in the 2400 block of 12th Avenue South. According to court records, Morara and Western broke into the home around 2 a.m. that morning and attacked Smith with a knife before leaving her for dead.

At Monday’s plea hearing, Morara admitted to taking a knife from Smith’s kitchen and stabbing her with it with the intention of killing the victim.

Smith, who was 21 at the time, had previously been in a relationship with Western and was pregnant with his child at the time of the attack. Smith was critically injured in the stabbing and was transported to a Des Moines hospital with significant injuries. Both Smith and her child survived.

Following an investigation, Morara and Western were apprehended in Minnesota about two weeks after the attack. Both parties were charged with attempted murder and first-degree burglary. Later, charges of conspiracy to commit murder and assault while participating in a felony, both Class C felonies, were added to both defendants. Western is also charged with domestic abuse assault causing injury, a Class D felony.

During Monday’s plea hearing, Morara admitted that when she and Western left the victim’s residence after the attack, she believed Smith was dead.

Under the plea agreement between Morara and the state, Morara is pleading guilty to the attempted murder and first-degree burglary charges. For the attempted murder charge, Morara would be sentenced to 25 years in prison with a mandatory 70 percent served before she could be eligible for parole. For the burglary charge, she would also be sentenced to 25 years, with no minimum, and both sentences to be served concurrently, or at the same time.

The plea agreement — including the sentencing — is contingent on the court’s acceptance.

On Tuesday, District Court Judge Angela Doyle stated that she would defer her judgment on whether to accept the plea agreement until she receives the results of the pre-sentencing investigation report.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 12. If Doyle chooses to reject the plea agreement between the state and the defense, Morara will be allowed to withdraw her guilty plea.

Western’s trial is scheduled for May 9.


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