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21-year-old man pleads guilty to stabbings at Montevideo bar

GRANITE FALLS -- A 21-year-old Montevideo man will be returning to prison for the second time after pleading guilty on Monday to felony charges for stabbing three people during a fight and, in a separate incident, threatening a witness with his knife.

Victor Daniel Medina is expected to be sentenced to 150 months in prison under terms of a plea agreement. He entered the pleas during a court appearance in Granite Falls.

District Judge Paul Nelson accepted the guilty pleas but deferred sentencing until Friday.

Medina entered a guilty plea to first-degree witness tampering for a June 27 incident in Montevideo. He admitted to having put his knife blade to the throat of a witness to a beating and robbery that had occurred earlier that evening. He threatened the man by saying: "You know what I could do." He also cut the man below the eye, according to his testimony.

Charges of third and second degree assault and a second, tampering with a witness charge were dismissed. Medina had allegedly been a lookout outside a bathroom at Inn Like Flinn's in Montevideo when a man was beaten unconscious and robbed of cash and a Blackberry.

Joel Filberto Medellin, 29, is serving a 41 months prison sentence for having attacked and robbed the victim.

Medina also pleaded guilty to three separate charges of second degree assault -- one for each victim -- for allegedly having stabbed a man and two women during an after-drinking-hours brawl Sept. 4 in a parking lot behind Inn Like Flinn.

Three charges of first-degree assault were dismissed under terms of the plea agreement.

The male victim suffered multiple knife wounds and was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he was hospitalized for a considerable length of time, according to information presented in court.

The two female victims required treatment at Chippewa County-Montevideo Hospital. One required surgery for her wounds.

Medina has previously served time in prison for violating probation terms following a 2006 third-degree assault conviction involving the use of a baseball bat.

The 150-month prison sentence he is expected to receive is the presumptive sentence for the first-degree tampering with witness conviction. The plea agreement calls for 57-month prison sentences on each of the assault charges, but they can be served concurrently with the longer sentence.

Sentencing is also expected to include an order to make restitution for medical expenses for the victims. Those costs are not yet know.

Nelson vacated bail and ordered Medina held for the sentencing. Bail had been set at $750,000 in the case. Medina had been on the lamb for 21 days following the stabbings but was apprehended when someone recognized him in Watertown, S.D., and notified law enforcement.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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