Teenage suspects in Steele County stabbing move forward in court - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Teenage suspects in Steele County stabbing move forward in court

Photo: MGN Online Photo: MGN Online

The legal process is unfolding against four Owatonna teenagers accused of stabbing a classmate dozens of times and leaving him to die in a corn field six months ago.

All four are charged with premeditated conspiracy to commit murder.

On Friday, the only legal adult pleaded guilty to the charges he faced. 18-year-old Carlos Sosa-Venegas will be sentenced in April on counts of premeditated conspiracy to commit murder, as well as felony aiding and abetting first degree assault.

Still to be decided is whether two other teens will be tried as juveniles or adults. Seth Brandenburg's lawyer recently filed for a continuance. The now-17-year-old's adult certification hearing was initially scheduled for January 20th, but now may be held in late February.

Jameson Smith's lawyer is trying to keep his case in the juvenile system as well. Recently, a judge granted permission for the 17-year-old's pregnant fiance to visit him at the Lino Lakes Juvenile Facility in Anoka, where he is being held awaiting trial. His hearing to determine whether he'll be tried as an adult is scheduled for March 29th.

Late last month, a judge ruled that 16-year-old Jose Sosa-Venegas, the youngest of all four suspects, will not stand trial as an adult.

The four teenagers are accused of luring then-19-year-old Andrew Zavala into an Owatonna cornfield on July 10th, beating him, and stabbing him as many as 40 times. Zavala somehow survived and crawled to a house nearby for help. He was taken by Mayo One to Saint Marys Hospital and has since recovered from his injuries.

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