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Competency order sealed on murder suspect in Montevideo, Minn., stabbing

MONTEVIDEO -- A mental health evaluation to determine whether Darek Jon Nelson is competent to stand trial in the Jan. 13 stabbing death of Vinessa Lozano has been filed with the District Court in Chippewa County.

District Judge Dwayne Knutsen received the report earlier this month. He ordered that it be closed, according to Chippewa County Attorney David Gilbertson.

The District Court has scheduled a hearing for Nelson in late May, indicating that the proceedings against him will move forward.

Nelson, 24, of Montevideo, is charged with second-degree murder with intent, first-degree manslaughter, and two counts of second-degree assault.

He is accused of fatally stabbing his co-worker Lozano, 18, as she walked out of the Pizza Ranch restaurant at the end of her shift that night.

Nelson allegedly told authorities that he was upset with her for not returning feelings he held toward her. The criminal complaint charges that Nelson brought the hunting knife to work that was recovered at the scene of the stabbing. He allegedly told authorities that if she "treated him badly, he was going to kill her.''

Tom Cherveny

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

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