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Irving Young's Mama Mia

Homicide suspect bound over for trial

May 14, 2014 | 11:33 AM
ELKHORN — When a police officer arrived at the scene of a homicide, the suspect waived his squad car down and directed the officer to a man who was bleeding to death outside of an apartment.

Rafael Olivarez, 39, was bound over for trial for first-degree intentional homicide during a May 14 preliminary hearing.

Olivarez allegedly stabbed his cousin, 31-year-old Ivan Guerrero, to death on May 4. If convicted, Olivarez faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Delavan Police Officer James Berlin testified that when he arrived at the scene, an apartment on Lawson School Road, the first person he saw was Olivarez.

"I saw a male Hispanic approaching me, waiving me down," Berlin testified. "He was covered in blood, what appeared to be blood."

At the apartments the night of the stabbing, Olivarez directed Berlin to Guerrero.

"There was a male Hispanic lying in the grass," Berlin said. "He also was covered in blood and had a stab wound in his chest and some slashing marks on his right arm."

On cross examination, Public Defender Travis Schwantes questioned Berlin on why he thought the injury was a stab wound.

"It appeared to be a ripping injury," Berlin responded.

Delavan Det. David Smith also testified and attended the autopsy that was conducted by Dr. Zelda Okia of the Waukesha County Medical Examiner's Office.

"She determined that he died from blood loss due to multiple stab wounds," Smith testified.

Preliminary hearing

During a preliminary hearing, a judge or court commissioner, must determine whether there is enough probable cause to bind a defendant over for trial.

The judge or court commissioner must determine if a felony was committed and whether the felony was likely committed by the defendant. He or she must also rule in the light most favorable to the state.

District Attorney Daniel Necci, who also introduced the criminal complaint into evidence, argued that there was enough evidence to bind Olivarez over for trial.

Schwantes argued that the state didn't prove probable cause, and that neither Berlin nor Smith directly linked Olivarez to the stabbing.

Court Commissioner Daniel Johnson ruled that there was enough evidence to bind Olivarez over for trial.

Olivarez is next set for an arraignment on June 5 in front of Judge David Reddy.

Olivarez is in custody in lieu of a $1 million cash bond

According to the criminal complaint:

When police arrived on the scene, Olivarez's face, hands, sweatshirt, pants and socks were covered in blood.

The officer also made contact with Guerrero who was lying on the ground. The officer saw a blood trail leading from Guerrero to the door of a Delavan apartment.

Guerrero's breathing was slow and shallow the officer reported.

The officer described Guerrero's stab wound as about five inches long, two inches wide and so deep that it "appeared to have visceral fatty tissue exposed," according to the complaint.

The victim's wife, Brenda Garcia, said that Olivarez was a guest in their home.

She said Olivarez became belligerent with Guerrero.

Olivarez apparently attempted to attack Guerrero and Garcia intervened, but she was struck several times and thrown to the side.

Garcia said Olivarez grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed Guerrero.

When taking Olivarez into custody, Olivarez allegedly stated "I might be in prison for the rest of my life, but I got Mexicans that will take care of things for me out here," according to the complaint. An autopsy ruled that Guerrero died of multiple stab wounds.


Tags: Crime, Top of page

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