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BREAKING NEWS

Man accused of chasing couple, wielding machete

By Staff | Nov 29, 2008

Jose Martinez

A 48-year-old Blue Earth man accused of wielding a machete at a couple has pleaded not guilty and requested a jury trial.

Jose Ignacio Martinez appeared in Faribault County District Court Monday with his attorney Troy Timmerman and a certified Spanish interpreter.

At the hearing, Timmerman says his client’s rights may have been violated. He says he and a bilingual investigator reviewed a tape of Blue Earth police officers interrogating Martinez.

“He may have asked for an attorney at one point. It’s hard to tell if they continued questioning him. The sound is pretty faint,” he says.

Two days will be set aside for a trial that has not yet been scheduled.

“Prior to that we’ll have a translation of the interview done to see if there was a violation,” says County Attorney Brian Roverud.

Bail has been set at $20,000 without conditions or $10,000 with.

Timmerman says he believes family members were able to get enough money together to have Martinez released, however, he is being held for federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Martinez has been charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and three counts of making terroristic threats.

The assault charge has a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine, while terroristic threats each carry a maximum sentence of five years and a $10,000 fine.

According to a court complaint, at 10:18 p.m. Nov. 1 police officers Nate Walton and Melissa Felion responded to a weapons threat reported on East Rice Street.

A male and female told the officers that while walking past the garage of a residence on North Rice Street a Hispanic man came out and started yelling at them in Spanish and chasing the couple with a machete.

The accused got into a van and chased the couple to the back of the police department building with the machete outside the vehicle window, says the complaint. Nearly 20 minutes later, the assailant was found in the garage of the North Rice Street residence. By the door, officers reportedly saw a machete leaning against a chair and two bottles of an alcoholic beverage.

The complaint says Martinez appeared to be intoxicated, his speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot.

He allegedly was very threatening, loud and aggressive toward the officers.

When arrested and then questioned, the complaint says, Martinez was uncooperative and again threatened authorities.

The couple was able to identity him as the man who chased them with a machete.