Stabbing suspect gets 5-plus years in jail

Published 5:45 pm Saturday, April 18, 2015

An Austin men convicted in a Dec. 26, 2014, stabbing was sentenced to more than five and a half years in prison Friday in Mower County court.

Ernesto Angel Salinas, 33, was convicted of first-degree burglary and second-degree assault March 2 for his role in the stabbing incident. A second-degree attempted murder, a second first-degree burglary charge and a fifth-degree assault charge were dismissed. He was given credit for 93 days served.

Another man, Daniel Irlas, 32, was previously pleaded no guilty to charges that he allegedly stabbed a 51-year-old man at the 1000 block of Fifth Avenue Northeast on Dec. 26.

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According to the court complaint, the victim stepped in to a fight Irlas had with his girlfriend on the day after Christmas at a friend’s house because the victim didn’t like Irlas getting physical with a woman. Irlas later told police he went to the home to collect $400 from the friend, and took a dog and a small lock box as payment.

Irlas also allegedly took the victim’s iPod and a speaker, and tried to stash it in another person’s car. The victim allegedly got the items out of the car, though he was punched by Irlas in the process.

Irlas allegedly came to a home where the victim was on Fifth Avenue Northeast at about 4:45 a.m. Dec. 26.

When the victim answered the door, Irlas and two unidentified men assaulted him, according to two witnesses at the home.

The witnesses went to a nearby residence to get help after they saw the victim was stabbed.

Police saw Irlas leaving the scene in a dark-colored SUV as they responded to the stabbing call. Witnesses told police they believed Irlas’s companions were Hispanic, with one tall person and another, shorter person wearing glasses which police later determined was Salinas.

The victim was presented with several photos and picked Salinas out of the lineup, though he also identified someone else at the same time.

Salinas told police he was at the house at the time of the stabbing but denied participating in it. He said he didn’t want to speak about the stabbing, but then told police the group “just went over there with fists; I don’t know where the knife came from.”

Witnesses said the victim had carried around a “sword” in a wooden case to protect himself and had swung it at his attackers. Police saw Salinas had head and hand injuries, but Salinas said they were from a pipe wrench the victim swung at him.

The victim was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin before he was airlifted to Mayo Clinic Rochester — St. Marys Campus.

The victim suffered a broken nose, two stab wounds to the torso — including one that pierced his diaphragm — and a contusion on his left ear.