Alleged sword slasher pleads not guilty

Published 9:15 am Friday, September 11, 2009

Thirty-seven-year-old Marco Antonio Morales, who faces four counts of assault in connection with the alleged slashing of a woman’s neck in July, pleaded not guilty to all counts Thursday in Freeborn County District Court.

Morales, of Albert Lea, faces one count of first-degree assault of great bodily harm, two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of third-degree assault of substantial bodily harm.

He was arrested July 14, after officers received a 911 call just before 10:30 p.m. from the Inkaholics tattoo parlor of a reported slashing of a 38-year-old woman’s neck with a sword in the downtown.

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When officers first arrived at the tattoo establishment at 102 Clark St., formerly named A-Town Tattoo and at the time bore the sign Inkaholics, they saw a woman leaving the business they recognized as a tenant at 121 1/2 N. Broadway Ave., according to court papers. The woman was holding the right side of her head.

She told authorities that Morales, at the same apartment, had done this to her, files state.

Officers went up to the apartment and arrested the man.

A 27-year-old man who had been in the apartment told officers Morales swung the sword at the woman after the two got into an argument.

“Mr. Morales had said that he was very sorry, but she had disrespected him and he had to do it,” the witness’ statement says.

The files also state Morales had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath, and his eyes were bloodshot and watery.

A preliminary breath test indicated he had an alcohol concentration of .156, the court files state.

During the appearance in court on Thursday, Morales’ public defender Kevin Rhea requested the case be scheduled for a speedy jury trial, which is expected to last two to three days.

Morales remains in the Freeborn County jail $600,000 conditional bail and $1 million unconditional bail.