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Willmar man, 18, charged for alleged role in stabbing that left man hospitalized

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WILLMAR -- Hugo Cesar Martinez, 18, of Willmar, made his first court appearance Tuesday on a second-degree assault charge for allegedly stabbing a man early Sunday morning at a party in rural Lake Lillian.

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Unconditional bail was set at $75,000 with conditional bail at $25,000. His next appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court is April 1.

According to the complaint, Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputies were called around 12:50 a.m. Sunday to a report of a fight along 45th Avenue Southwest just west of U.S. Highway 71. Dispatch also received a report that someone had been stabbed, that the suspect was in a vehicle along 45th Avenue and the victim was transported to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar.

A deputy went to the hospital, where the 20-year-old man was being treated for nine stab wounds and was being taken into surgery for treatment of one of the wounds. A person there said he witnessed the altercation between the 20-year-old man and the suspect, Martinez. The witness gave a description of the suspect, the name of a person who was with him and the license plate of their vehicle.

The injured man later told a deputy that he had asked Martinez to leave a party, that they bo-th threw pu-nches and that he realized he had been stab-bed and had others take him to the hospital.

Meanwh-ile, a deputy and a Willmar Police Department officer responded to a report of a vehicle stuck in a ditch near 45th Avenue and arrived to find two males and a female confronting the people in the stuck vehicle. The license plate matched that given by the witness, and a passenger with bloody hands threw a knife out of the window.

While Martinez was being cuffed and placed in the deputy's squad car, he allegedly asked the officer if "the dude he stabbed" was going to the hospital. He also allegedly said the others in the vehicle had nothing to do with the incident and that he was the only one who did anything.

Another person in the car said that Martinez told him he stabbed the man, who had confronted Martinez about leaving the party.

The host of the party was interviewed and told the deputy that the party got bigger than he had planned and that Martinez was one of three people who showed up around 10 p.m. and were asked to leave around midnight, resulting in the fight and stabbing.

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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. 

(320) 214-4373
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