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Worthington man receives jail time for injuring former roommate

WORTHINGTON -- A Worthington man was sentenced to 180 days imprisonment for injuring his then-roommate's finger with a kitchen knife. Alberto F. Cruz, 63, will serve the 180-day sentence in three, 30-day increments. As of Monday's sentencing, he ...

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Cruz

WORTHINGTON - A Worthington man was sentenced to 180 days imprisonment for injuring his then-roommate’s finger with a kitchen knife.

Alberto F. Cruz, 63, will serve the 180-day sentence in three, 30-day increments. As of Monday’s sentencing, he had satisfied the first installment and is eligible to abate the next 60 days with a recommendation from probation.

Cruz was also sentenced to 51 months commitment to the commissioner of corrections. Execution is to be stayed for five years of supervised probation. He was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, which he may fulfill by community service work.

Despite Rock Nobles Community Corrections’ recommendation for executed prison time, state prosecutor Adam Johnson and defense attorney Phillip Elbert both supported a dispositional departure from the presumptive sentence, citing a string of arguments, including mental health concerns.

Johnson said in his view, the state of Cruz’s mental health reduced culpability in the incident and that he deserves a chance on probation. Likewise, Johnson added, the victim supported a resolution that did not involve prison time.

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Fifth Judicial District Judge Gordon Moore said Cruz’s mental health concerns are not a defense, but agreed that he believed it largely triggered his aggressive response in the May 2017 incident when Cruz and his former roommate argued over burning food on the stove.

“I can’t disagree that the offense was less severe than other assaults with a dangerous weapon,” Moore said.  

When weighing whether a dispositional departure would be in the best interest of public safety, Moore considered the fact that Cruz demonstrated his interest in getting to what Moore called “the root of the problem.”

Cruz’s probation requirements will include chemical-use and mental health services.

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