Winona man sentenced to 12 years for 2021 stabbing death

Sean Michael Emmons, 38, reportedly broke into a Winona man's apartment through a front window, punched the man "out of a dead sleep," and stabbed him in the knee, according to the criminal complaint.

Sean Michael Emmons
Sean Michael Emmons
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WINONA — A Winona man was sentenced to 12 years in prison Friday, June 15, 2022, for his role in the stabbing death of another man last year.

Sean Michael Emmons, 38, pleaded guilty in May to felony second-degree murder in Winona County District Court as part of a plea deal that dismissed a felony second-degree assault charge and eight other charges in five unrelated cases in Winona and Olmsted counties.

Emmons stabbed a man in the leg in September 2021. The man died four days later and an autopsy concluded that the man died as "a result of complications of a stab wound of the left lower extremity."

Emmons, who has been in custody since his arrest in November 2021, was credited 301 days for time served by District Judge Mary Leahy. Leahy also ordered Emmons to pay restitution, though no restitution amounts have been decided.

He will serve a little over seven years of his sentence in prison and the rest on supervised released, in accordance with Minnesota statute.


Winona police were called on Sept. 13, 2021, to an apartment on East Ninth Street in Winona for a medical situation. Officers met with a man, who is not named in court documents, who told them he had been stabbed by Emmons on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.

"Law enforcement only obtained limited information from (the man) as (the man) appeared to be in excruciating pain," the criminal complaint states. "When law enforcement attempted to interview (the man) at the hospital, (the man) was on oxygen and semiconscious."

On Sept. 14, officers learned the man had to be intubated and was unable to talk. He died the following day.

A witness told police that the man had texted him the day of the alleged incident and said he had been stabbed by Emmons. When the person went to the man's residence, the man reportedly said a second person had been in the apartment that day and had "passed out on the bed." Emmons reportedly broke into the apartment through a front window, punched the man "out of a dead sleep" and stabbed him in the knee, according to the criminal complaint.

The man did not immediately seek medical attention, but the witness told police they called 911 two days after the incident after finding the man jaundiced, freezing cold and sweaty, according to the complaint.

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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