Nelson Seeking 2nd Degree Murder Plea 06 Nov 12

The 25-year-old Montevideo man charged in the fatal stabbing of a co-worker has filed a motion seeking to enter a guilty plea to second-degree murder.

A grand jury indicted Darek Nelson on a first-degree, premeditated murder charge in the January 13th stabbing of 18-year-old Vinessa Lozano. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison without the possibility of release.

He also faces charges of second-degree murder, with intent, and two second-degree assault charges for the incident.

The West Central Tribune reports Chippewa County Attorney David Gilbertson saying he intends to file a motion opposing the defense request to plead guilty to second-degree murder.

The attorney said the decision on whether to accept the guilty plea belongs to the court and the courts are not likely to accept a guilty plea to a lesser charge when it is opposed by the prosecution.

Court records indicate that Lozano had been stabbed 33 times in an attack as she left the Pizza Ranch, where the two worked.

The criminal complaint alleges that Nelson told investigators that he hid a knife in a hoodie he brought to work and intended to kill her if she rejected his interest in her.