St. Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church is located in Anamoose.

A suspect has been arrested and charged with attempted murder for allegedly strangling a priest in an attack last week in Anamoose.

Chad Vincent Legare, 42, of Alexandria, Minn., is charged with felony counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault and burglary for the alleged assault on the Rev. Robert Wapenski at the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church on Jan. 30 in Anamoose.

McHenry County Sheriff Trey Skager confirmed Legare's charging in a press release on Tuesday. The attack's motive is still under investigation.

Court documents unsealed Tuesday after Legare's arrest do not name Wapenski, but describe some details of the alleged attack. Legare allegedly "strangled and otherwise assaulted" the man at night on church property, causing serious bodily injury. 

Skager said Alexandria (Minn.) Police and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested Legare Monday. He has been held since Monday night at the Douglas County (Minn.) Jail, pending extradition.

Wapenski has apparently invoked his crime victim rights under Marsy's Law, according to McHenry County State's Attorney Joshua Frey's request to seal the file.

Frey and Assistant Attorney General Paul Emerson are prosecuting.

In 2015 in Douglas County, Minn., Legare pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in a case that also included felony domestic assault by strangulation, which was dismissed.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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Crime and Courts Reporter