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Man charged with stabbing in Jackson

JACKSON -- A stabbing assault late in the evening of Oct. 23 led to a weapon being recovered from the roof of the Jackson Pizza Ranch. A 19-year-old male has been charged with two counts of second-degree assault in connection with the stabbing.

Joshua Raye Knutson, who is considered homeless by authorities, faces a maximum combined penalty of 17 years incarceration, with a mandatory minimum of a year if convicted on either charge.

Authorities were called to the Jackson County Medical Center shortly after midnight Friday because a victim with a stab wound had arrived. The victim, 21, told medical personnel the assault had occurred near the Pizza Ranch, so several officers also responded to the assault scene.

At the medical center, the victim told authorities he had been drinking with some friends from Minnesota West and ended up at an acquaintance's apartment around 11:30 p.m. He said he had only been there a short time before he was attacked by four to six males, one of whom stabbed him in the back. He ran out of the apartment, he stated, and was brought to the hospital by the acquaintance, who apologized for the assault.

The victim said he had gone to the apartment with some friends, but at the party were males he thought "looked like gangbangers." After running out of the apartment, the victim told authorities he returned and asked who had stabbed him. He was allegedly told it was someone named Justin.

At the scene of the assault, officers noticed two people standing outside. When the officers approached, one went inside and the other remained. The male standing outside had blood on his hands and face and a black eye. He said he had been jumped by a group of six men who attend Minnesota West in Jackson.

Inside, authorities knocked on the apartment door and recognized the apartment tenant who opened the door. He appeared to have black and blue marks on his face. They also recognized Knutson, who was sitting on the couch.

The tenant said the victim had come over very drunk and had picked fights with everyone at the residence.

When asked to leave, the victim allegedly punched the tenant and was then jumped by the others. Then the fight reportedly moved into the alley or parking lot. The tenant told authorities he believed it was Knutson who had stabbed the victim.

Authorities interviewed several others who had been at the apartment, one of whom said he had tried to break up a fight between the victim and another man, which earned him a fist to the face. He entered the bathroom to tend a bloody nose and came out in time to hear his girlfriend yell at Knutson, "Why did you stab him?"

During an interview with Knutson, law enforcement learned he had been living with his friend for about a week. The fight occurred, Knutson said, when the victim pushed another man, then ended up hitting the tenant in the face. When the fight moved outside, the victim got stabbed.

When asked who stabbed him, Knutson replied, "I did." He said he used a knife that belonged to the tenant and described it as a five-inch hunting knife.

"I have a real bad anger problem," he explained when asked why he had stabbed the victim. "I went crazy, I guess."

When asked where he got the knife, Knutson told the investigator it was in his hand, and he had picked it up to hold in his hand so he could hit harder.

"I was hitting him in the ribs and kidney, and they were hitting him everywhere else," he said of the altercation.

Knutson thought the victim may have seen the knife, but that he just stabbed him without saying anything. Afterward, Knutson said he ran into the parking lot and threw the knife on the Pizza Ranch roof.

At the scene, officers found a blood stain on the passenger seat of the tenant's vehicle, and the knife was located on the northwest portion of the roof.

Bond for Knutson was set at $65,000, and a request for a public defender was denied. Knutson is scheduled to make a first appearance on Monday.