Jury trial begins for suspect in fatal stabbing

Local News

Milton Serrano Jr. (photo courtesy of Iowa’s News Now,)

A jury trial for a 22-year-old Muscatine man accused in the 2020 stabbing death of a Wilton man continues this week in Dubuque County Court.

Milton Serrano Jr. is accused of killing Chantz Stevens on July 19, 2020, in Cedar County. The trial is being held as a change of venue, court officials told Local 4 News.

Serrano has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder and guilty to the charge of second-degree criminal mischief.

Violence at a party

Milton Serrano Jr. attended a party at a home on Quincy Avenue in Clarence, which is in rural Cedar County, during the early morning hours of July 19, 2020, an arrest affidavit says.

After he “keyed’ a silver Toyota Camry – resulting in about $1,000 in damage to the car – he was confronted by other people at the party and told multiple times to leave. Serrano got into a fight with another person, and others broke up the struggle, the affidavit says.

Serrano then said he had a knife in his pocket and threatened to stab other people at the scene.

He then got into a fight with Stevens. “When the altercation went to the ground, Milton Serrano Jr. retrieved a knife from his pocket and stabbed Stevens twice in the abdomen,” the affidavit says.

Someone took the knife away from Serrano, who then made a reference about going to his vehicle and getting a gun.

Other people convinced Serrano to leave the area, then travel to Muscatine.

Stevens, who had two puncture wounds to his abdomen, died from his injuries, the affidavit says.

A social-media post

Later that morning, Serrano posted to social media about being involved in a fight and stabbing someone.

In the post, Serrano had what appeared to be dried blood on his person and he brandished a knife that “appears consistent with witness accounts of the knife used in the stabbing.”

The knife in the social media post had what appeared to be blood on its blade, the affidavit said.

Serrano was found at a residence in Muscatine and admitted to law enforcement he had been involved in a fight during which he stabbed a person. He further admitted the knife should be in the residence, where law enforcement found it.

A search warrant was served at the residence and clothing consistent with what witnesses described was seized, the affidavit said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories