AUSTIN -- The Austin man charged with fatally stabbing a teenaged boy who was trying to protect his mother from an assault pleaded guilty Friday to two murder charges.

Jaime Arquimides Vaca, 28, pleaded guilty in Mower County District Court to intentional second-degree murder and attempted unintentional second-degree murder. Two other felony charges will likely be dismissed as part of sentencing.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 13, 2022 by Judge Christa Daily. The petition to enter a plea of guilty filed with the courts outlines a possible prison sentence of more than 31 years -- 306 months for intentional second-degree murder and 75 months for attempted unintentional second-degree murder.


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Austin police and the Mower County Sheriff's Office were called about 8:50 a.m. Dec. 13 to the 800 block of Third Avenue Northwest for a report of an assault in progress. When police arrived, they found an adult woman lying in the front yard, covered in blood and bleeding profusely from a stab wound to her neck, according to the criminal complaint.

The woman was able to tell the officer that her son had also been stabbed and was inside the residence. She identified Vaca as the assailant. The woman was flown to Mayo Clinic Hospital-Saint Marys Campus where she underwent extensive surgery to save her life.

Officers found the boy on a couch in the residence, covered in blood and struggling to breathe. He was taken by ambulance to Mayo Clinic Health Systems-Austin and then flown by helicopter to Saint Marys, where he died of his injuries. The boy's family has identified him at 15-year-old Julio Cesar Rodriguez.

A vigil was held in his honor in Austin on Dec. 18. Julio is being remember as a hero who always put others first.

Vaca has been held at the Mower County Jail on $500,00 conditional bail since his first court appearance on Dec. 16.