Christmas Stabber Faces Attempted Murder Charge
Suspect Allegedly Knifed Victim over Love Interest
This Thursday, Sergio Quintana pleaded not guilty to – and denied a probation violation in connection with – a Christmas morning stabbing which occurred on the streets of the Eastside.
Quintana faces a charge of attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a 32-year-old man, Cesar Ortega, who suffered several knife wounds to the chest and abdomen. Right after the incident, Ortega told police he was stabbed by Quintana, and pointed them up the street to where the suspect’s car was parked. Along with the attempted murder charge are two enhancements – the action resulted in great bodily injury and a deadly weapon was used – that could land Quintana behind bars for 13 years.
A camera from a nearby business captured much of the confrontation on video. It shows the suspect and the victim together, Lt. Brent Mandrell said, and Quintana with a knife. Senior Deputy District Attorney Joyce Dudley said that the videotape, at about a minute long, “very clearly” depicts the defendant. The two had a “long history of bad blood between them because of a love interest” and lived near one another, Mandrell said.
This wouldn’t be the first time Quintana has gotten in trouble because of love interests. In 1999, he was arrested after allegedly chasing down a man – who was characterized by police as the husband of Quintana’s girlfriend, with whom Quintana had at least one child – with a nine- to 12-inch kitchen bread knife. He allegedly raised the knife in a threatening manner and said, “I’m going to kill you,” but instead punctured all four tires of the victim’s vehicle. According to court staff, Quintana’s name pops up 14 times in their records, but nine of the files have been destroyed, either because they are old or because charges were dismissed against him.
Quintana, 36, eventually pleaded no contest to misdemeanors of vandalism and exhibiting a deadly weapon for the 1999 incident, and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years’ probation. Less than two months later he violated probation and was sentenced to 120 days in County Jail.
In addition to the recent attempted murder charge, he was also arrested for violation of probation. The probation related to felony domestic violence, felony stalking charges, as well as a misdemeanor charge for violating a domestic violence order from an even earlier incident.
Ortega has been released from the hospital, according to police, and Quintana gave no statement to police.
Joseph Martinez, an attorney from the public defender’s office who represented Quintana in court Thursday, had no comment after the arraignment hearing. The judge denied a request from Martinez that the media not be allowed to take images of Quintana’s face, after Martinez argued the case was “somewhat inflammatory.” Martinez also indicated there were possible concerns at the school Quintana’s three children attend, and that some parents had been calling the school. The judge denied the request and allowed media to document the event.
“These were very sad circumstances for the people of our community and the individuals involved to experience any day, but especially on Christmas,” Dudley said.
Quintana is in jail on no bail, and will next be in court on January 22 in Department 12.