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2 plead not guilty to attempted murder

Two individuals facing attempted murder charges in separate cases made their initial appearances on Thursday in Mower County District Court.

Raul Zavala Jr.

Raul Zavala Jr., 27, of Chicago, Illinois, pleaded not guilty to felony first-degree attempted murder – premeditated, felony first-degree assault – great bodily harm, felony second-degree assault – dangerous weapon – substantial bodily harm, and two counts of felony second-degree assault – dangerous weapon.

Raul Zavala Jr., 27

Court documents state that Austin police officers were dispatched at about 8:46 p.m. on June 21 to a firearms complaint in the 1800 block of Fourth Avenue Northwest after a report that someone discharged a gun inside the residence. Four females, all of whom appeared to have blood on them, approached one of the officers. One of the females stated, “My boyfriend grabbed a knife and he’s the one that brought the gun.” She surrendered a firearm to another officer, who observed that the pistol did not contain a magazine.

Police then observed two male subjects, one of which was Zavala, fighting inside the residence and that both combatants had blood on them.

An officer asked one of the females who had been shot and she reported that Zavala fired the gun, but no one was hit by the bullet. She pointed to the upper portion of a door frame between the dining room and the garage, where the officer observed a bullet hole.

The officer observed that the man Zavala had been fighting was bleeding from his left ear and appeared to have several other stab wounds to the middle of his back.

Zavala reported that the victim struck him in the head with a beer bottle and indicated that he shot a gun at the victim and stabbed him in self-defense.

Witnesses said Zavala and the victim were arguing before the fight. Two witnesses reported that Zavala fired the gun; another recalled hearing a gun being fired. Another witness said Zavala was trying to shoot her because she was trying to restrain him from fighting with the victim.

One of the females told police that the victim took the gun from Zavala, who then grabbed a knife and began stabbing him in the back.

Officers observed a shell casing on the dining room floor, as well as a bullet hole above the doorway going into the garage. An officer later observed a red-handled steak knife matching the description of the knife used to stab the victim. The knife appeared to have dried blood on it.

An officer spoke with the victim, who said Zavala was making aggressive gestures toward one of the females and he believed Zavala was going to harm her. He said he confronted Zavala about it and Zavala then retrieved his firearm and shot it at him. After the shot was fired, the firearm was knocked from Zavala’s hand, and he then struck Zavala in the head with a beer bottle. He said Zavala then grabbed a knife and stabbed him and indicated he might have stabbed Zavala with the knife while trying to disarm him.

Medical staff advised police that the victim had been stabbed three times in the back and one time in the left shoulder/arm.

A pre-trial has been scheduled for Oct. 16. Zavala is currently being held on $100,000 bail.

Clifton Dale Robinson

Clifton Dale Robinson, also known as Clifton Dale, Clifton Toney Dale and Antoneyo Robinson, 40, pleaded not guilty to felony second-degree attempted murder – with intent – not premeditated, felony first-degree assault – great bodily harm, and felony violent felon in possession of a firearm.

Clifton Dale Robinson, 40

Court documents state Austin police officers responded to a report of a stabbing at about 1:50 a.m. on July 3. The victim, an adult male, was located at a residence in the 200 block of First Street Southeast. The victim had blood soaked clothing from several stab wounds and police observed that organs from the victim’s abdomen were protruding through his skin.

A Mower County deputy began to look for a suspect and observed a 2012 Kia Optima leaving from the area of First Street and Third Avenue Southeast. She ran the license plate and observed that the registered owner lived in the 1000 block of 13th Avenue Northeast. She advised dispatch that she intended to conduct an investigative stop and she activated the squad car’s emergency lights at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Eighth Street Northeast. She then saw the left rear passenger door open and a subject wearing a red shirt and jeans run away from the vehicle toward the east.

The deputy immediately recognized the subject as Robinson.

Blood was seen on the side of the vehicle and a handgun and knife were on the floorboard of the rear seat.

Police went to Robinson’s residence in the 300 block of First Street Southeast and found the entry door was locked. The officers looked through a window on the door and saw blood on the stairway that led to Robinson’s apartment. An officer saw a shoe in the entryway landing and recalled that the victim was only wearing one shoe.

Police executed a search warrant for Robinson’s apartment and saw blood on every floor of the apartment’s rooms. A knife that appeared to have been broken and was wet was found in the kitchen sink. The officers also saw blood on the knife and in the sink. An officer went down the apartment steps and located another part of the broken knife near the victim’s shoe.

Robinson was later arrested at his girlfriend’s home when the Special Incident Response Team executed a search warrant on the residence. Robinson told police that he grabbed a knife while defending himself from attack by the victim and three other males. He also indicated that he did not call the police due to previous interactions with them.

A review of Robinson’s criminal record shows prior convictions for fifth-degree assault, domestic assault and malicious punishment of a child. He is currently awaiting dispositions on charges of drug possession, violent felon in possession of firearm, violent felon in possession of firearm ammunition and financial transaction card fraud.

In addition, Robinson also pleaded not guilty to felony transaction card fraud – use without consent, two counts of gross misdemeanor financial transaction card fraud – use without consent, felony violent felon in possession of a firearm, felony violent felon in possession of firearm ammunition, felony fifth-degree drug possession, petty misdemeanor possess a small amount of marijuana, and petty misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Those charges stemmed from two separate cases.

A pre-trial has been scheduled for Oct. 16. Robinson is currently being held on $500,000 bail.