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Willmar man pleads to two charges in August stabbing

WILLMAR -- Mario Armando Brena, 21, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two third-degree assault charges for stabbing two men during a fight last August.

As part of a plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, both charges were reduced from second-degree level. He will be sentenced Feb. 24 to consecutive stayed sentences and will be released to the federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement at sentencing.

Brena entered the pleas as Norgaard pleas, under which the defendant admits he was too impaired by alcohol to remember the incident.

The charges were filed after Willmar police officers were called around 1:10 a.m. Aug. 15 to the 1200 block of Becker Avenue Southeast.

Officers arrived to find a large group of people, including two men who had been stabbed.

Both men were taken to Rice Memorial Hospital for treatment.

One of the men was interviewed at the hospital and said he had seen Brena and the other victim fighting and that he got involved in the fight. He did not know Brena had a weapon, but realized he'd been cut after Brena ran from the scene. He had a puncture wound on his right biceps and large slice wounds on his left elbow.

A witness told officers there had been a fight among several women and that one of the victims tried to break up the fight and then fought with Brena. That man had a deep stab wound in his arm, which was treated at the hospital.

Both men identified Brena in photo lineups prepared by police.

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. 

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