Rochester man sentenced to 15 months in prison for stabbing another man last year

The man avoided a harsher sentence following a plea deal where both the prosecution and the defense agreed that, while he was not the initial aggressor, he used an unreasonable amount of force.

Mazem Gisi
Mazem Gisi.
Contributed / Olmsted County Sheriff's Office

ROCHESTER — A 21-year-old Rochester man has been sentenced to 15 months in prison in connection with a May 2022 stabbing of another 20-year-old man at a Rochester apartment building.

Mazem Caden Gisi pleaded guilty Monday, May 22, 2023, before District Judge Kathy Wallace in Olmsted County District Court to felony second-degree assault as part of a January plea deal that dismissed felony charges of attempted second-degree murder and felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

His plea agreement was based on a self-defense claim that he was not the primary aggressor but that he used unreasonable force under the circumstances, according to court documents.

The victim in the incident suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Mayo Clinic Hospital-Saint Marys, according to Rochester Police Capt. Casey Moilanen.

According to court documents:


Gisi was identified by witnesses as the ex-boyfriend of the victim's girlfriend. Gisi stabbed the man after asking to speak to the man's girlfriend alone and being denied. The victim's girlfriend told law enforcement that Gisi had been stalking her and that she was afraid of him.

The man was stabbed in front of his apartment door after he engaged in a physical altercation with Gisi. Gisi then fled the scene.

The stabbing broke one of the victim's ribs and medical personnel told him he would not have survived the stabbing if his rib had not stopped the blade. The man has since been released from the hospital.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at
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