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Video of inmate fight may show who is responsible

By Staff | Aug 16, 2008

Selerino Del Angel

An attorney for a Faribault County Jail inmate charged with assault while in custody has asked for a limited evidentiary hearing.

Public defender Bill Grogin says a videotape of a fight between his client, John Andrew Yahnke, and inmate, Selerino Del Angel, has been found at the jail.

Yahnke faces fifth-degree assault following an altercation July 23 in front of “C” block at 7:25 a.m.

“What’s on the tape will determine if it supports my client’s claim he was acting in self-defense — If Del Angel threw the first punch,” says Grogin.

The 17-year-old Del Angel had to be treated by a local doctor for a cut on his lower lip and was given a tetanus shot.

John Andrew Yahnke

As of Monday, the public defender says neither he nor the prosecuting attorney have seen the tape.

The Blue Earth city attorney’s office is handling the case.

Grogin says Kyle MacArthur, an investigator for the Martin and Faribault counties Public Defender’s Office, discovered the videotape about two weeks ago. He says jail officials and county authorities apparently were unaware there was a videotape of the incident.

Mac-Arthur says while doing interviews at the jail he noticed numerous video cameras at the facility.

“I thought, ‘Just maybe one of the cameras caught a different angle of the fight.’ It didn’t take long to find what I was looking for,” he says. “I was just doing my job and due diligence.” The two inmates have different versions of who started the fight.

However, other inmates questioned at the jail say the 18-year-old Yahnke was the “main aggressor.”

In addition to assault, Yahnke faces a charge of explosives possession with the intent to make a bomb.

He has pleaded not guilty and requested a two-day jury trial. No dates have been set.

Del Angel is being held on charges of first-degree assault, malicious punishment of a child and neglect or endangerment of a child.