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No trial date in Montevideo stabbing as second psych evaluation requested

MONTEVIDEO -- A trial date has not been set in the first-degree murder case against Darek Jon Nelson, 24, of Montevideo pending a second evaluation requested by the defense.

Nelson faces a first-degree murder charge in the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Vinessa Lozano on Jan. 13 in Montevideo.

He also faces charges of second-degree murder and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

He remains in the Chippewa County Jail on $1 million bail.

Nelson had undergone a mental health evaluation following his arrest. Following its completion, the court approved a request by the defense for a second evaluation by a professional of its choosing.

An order filed by the court last week makes it clear that the information contained in the original assessment as well the second one yet to be completed will be made available to both the prosecution and defense prior to a trial.

The original complaint alleges Nelson fatally stabbed Lozano as she left the Pizza Ranch at the end of her shift. He was a co-worker and was allegedly upset that she did not return his interest in her.

Lozano was the mother of an 18-month-old son and working at the restaurant and a nursing home while completing studies toward a nursing degree.

She is survived by her son and her fiancé, the father of the child, along with parents and other family in Montevideo and Willmar.

Tom Cherveny

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

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