Stabbing suspect pleads not guilty (updated)

Man is accused of using knife while two others aided

The 44-year-old Blaine man who is accused of stabbing an Albert Lea man in August on Columbus Avenue near the Johnson Street railroad crossing pleaded not guilty in Freeborn County District Court on Tuesday to his charges.

Todd Paulson

Todd Raymond Paulson pleaded not guilty to one count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of third-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm tied to the reported stabbing Aug. 8.

The plea was classified as a conditional plea pending a judge’s decision on his omnibus hearing. That decision should come sometime in November. If the judge comes back with a decision against Paulson, he will next be scheduled for a jury trial.

According to court documents, Paulson allegedly stabbed Javier Torres of Albert Lea with a knife while David Joshua-John Skotte and Marcus Allen-Wayne Hallmark, both 19 of Columbia Heights, held Torres down.

Documents state after police received a call of the stabbing, they searched the area and found Skotte and Hallmark hiding under a deck at 425 St. Peter Ave. Paulson was found at 709 St. Peter Ave. and answered the door when officers arrived.

Witnesses identified Paulson at the residence and said they were 100 percent sure he was the person who did the stabbing, according to court records.

Police also found two kitchen knives outside the residence — one on the deck and the other in the grass in the back yard.

Skotte and Hallmark have been charged with aiding and abetting.

Torres was ultimately transported to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester because of internal bleeding from a wound to his abdomen. He has since been released.

Paulson’s second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon charge carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine. The third-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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