MONTEVIDEO - The man accused in the fatal stabbing of a Montevideo woman could face life in prison, after an indictment was handed down by a Chippewa County grand jury on Wednesday.
Court records said Darek Jon Nelson, 24, of Montevideo was indicted for first degree premeditated murder and second degree intentional murder in the death of Vinnessa Victoria Lozano, outside the Pizza Ranch in Montevideo on Jan. 13. Nelson was also indicted for second degree assault with a dangerous weapon and for an assault on a witness who attempted to aid the victim, court records said.
Lozano, 18, died after being stabbed multiple times outside the Pizza Ranch, where both she and Nelson worked.
Members of the grand jury handed down the indictment after two days of testimony by investigators and witnesses in the case, court records said. In Minnesota, a first degree murder indictment can only be made by a grand jury.
All three charges are felony-level, and carry maximum penalties of prison time. The maximum penalty for first degree premeditated murder is life without possibility of release.
Nelson's bail was also increased to $1 million on Wednesday, a release from the Montevideo Police Department said.
- Deb Gau