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EJJ hearing set for 16-year-old assailant

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WORTHINGTON -- Sixteen-year-old Brandon Ortiz of Worthington, charged with assault in a stabbing that took place Saturday, is scheduled to appear in court next week for a hearing to determine whether he will be tried as a juvenile or as an adult.

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The extended juvenile jurisdiction hearing will take place Wednesday in Nobles County District Court is scheduled.

Ortiz was charged earlier this week with first-degree assault resulting in great bodily harm, and two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

The alleged assault happened at approximately 2:35 a.m. at the intersection of Dover Street and Omaha Avenue, after an altercation at a party in the 100 block of Omaha Avenue spilled out into the street.

When officers responded to a report of an assault in progress, they found a victim on the ground bleeding.

The victim, a 24-year-old Worthington man, had been stabbed in the armpit area, on the left side of the abdominal area and near his navel.

A woman, the victim's girlfriend, had a cut on her leg. Witnesses told authorities the assault had been committed by Ortiz.

Officers located Ortiz and asked that he come to the law enforcement center.

While speaking to the teen, officers noted an alleged odor of alcohol coming from him.

At first, Ortiz did not want to make a statement to the authorities, but after speaking with his mother, he changed his mind.

He told a detective he had been at a party and a problem developed between some females, which escalated into a fight.

Ortiz said the victim hit him and then hit his sister.

He said he had a knife in his pocket and took it out, going after the victim.

He allegedly admitted he stabbed the man at least four times and believed all the wounds were on the victim's back.

He said he did not remember cutting the victim's girlfriend, but admitted she may have gotten hurt while trying to separate him from the victim.

Ortiz told the detective he had thrown the knife in a row of bushes near the old swimming pool. The knife, approximately 7 1/2 inches long including the handle, was located. There were apparent blood stains on the blade.

Ortiz was allegedly one of several people in a vehicle that was part of a drive-by shooting on Sherwood Street in January.

The shooter in that incident, Ulises Mendez, was sentenced earlier this week to 104 months in prison.

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