Austin Man Accused of Killing Stepson & Critically Wounding Wife
Austin, MN (KROC-AM News) - An Austin man was formally charged today with second-degree murder and attempted murder.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Mower County Court, 27-year-old Jaime Vaca is accused of stabbing and critically wounding his wife and killing her juvenile son during a domestic fight in the family's home Tuesday morning. Austin police were called to the residence just before 9 AM and found a woman covered in blood lying on the front yard. She had been stabbed in the neck and was able to tell the responding officers that her son had also been stabbed and her husband was responsible.
The juvenile victim was found on the couch covered in blood and struggling to breathe. He and his mother were airlifted to St. Mary's hospital where he died from his injuries and his mother underwent extensive emergency surgery to save her life.
The charges indicate the violence broke out during a fight between Vaca and his wife concerning his employment. He told investigators that he had his wife in a chokehold and was strangling her. At some point, he grabbed a knife and stabbed his wife in the neck before stabbing his stepson, also in the neck, when he tried to intercede and pull Vaca off of his mother. Both victims were able to leave the room and Austin police say it was the juvenile boy who called 911 before he collapsed.
The charges say an investigator stated that after he was informed of the boy's death, Vaca put his head down and said, "I'm a murderer." Five other children were found in the house but were not harmed.
Conditional bail for Vaca was set at $500,000. His next court appearance was scheduled on December 28.
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