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Suspect in 2015 stabbing sent to prison

A Rochester man accused of stabbing a man in the chest a year ago pleaded guilty Thursday to felony first-degree assault and was immediately sentenced to seven years in prison.

An additional count of second-degree attempted murder against Thane Joseph Robinson, 23, was dismissed as the result of a plea agreement. He was given credit for time served since his arrest April 3, 2015.

The case began about 7:30 p.m. April 2, 2015, when three people in a vehicle dropped the 40-year-old man at the emergency department of Mayo Clinic Hospital-Saint Marys Campus and drove away. He'd had been stabbed twice in the chest and four times in the back, and was taken immediately into surgery to stop the bleeding.

The vehicle was registered to a man who lived in the 100 block of 12th Street Northwest; further investigation revealed the victim also lived there — and it's where the stabbing occurred.

The owner of the car told officers he hadn't been home at the time of the assault, but the victim called and asked him to come home quickly. When the man arrived, he told police, Robinson, Jami Lotti and the victim were arguing in the living room.


The victim was covered in blood; the witness saw Lotti — Robinson's girlfriend — "run up to the victim and hit him." When the man asked what was going on, Robinson confessed to stabbing the 40-year-old because he thought the victim was going to hit Lotti.

The couple left when the witness told them he was going to call police, the complaint says. The witness then called two of his friends to come to the house so they could take the victim to the hospital.

The next day, the victim told investigators that Robinson and Lotti had been allowed to stay there, but all they were doing was "sitting around using meth and fake marijuana." The day of the attack, the victim had asked them to get their belongings and leave the house, but they refused.

The assault began when the victim confronted the couple in their bedroom. Lotti became angry with the man and allegedly attacked him, so he pushed her down. The victim and Robinson then began to struggle, ending up on the floor between the bed and the wall.

The man didn't realize he was being stabbed at first, according to a court document, and "remembered thinking I couldn't believe I was getting my ass kicked by this little punk."

He looked down and could see "a black hole in his chest," he told investigators, then really started to bleed. He was on his back, and as he was getting turned over to stand up, Robinson began stabbing him in the back "like a madman," the victim said.

The two ended up in the living room, where the victim picked up a 2-by-4 piece of wood to ward Robinson off. The attack stopped, but Robinson was laughing about the stabbing, the complaint says. Lotti allegedly threatened the man, saying she was "a gangster," and that they'd kill him if he said anything about the stabbing.

Lotti, 24, was later charged with one count each of aggravated first-degree tampering with a witness, first-degree tampering with a witness and fifth-degree assault, all felonies. She pleaded guilty last month to the assault charge; the tampering charges are expected to be dismissed at her June 2 sentencing.


Another woman at the house during the attack told investigators she gave the couple a ride to a home on Arbor Drive Northwest.

Robinson was arrested at that home about 1:20 a.m. the next morning. According to court documents, bloody boots were located in the room where he was arrested. Lotti told officers Robinson had washed his clothes when they got to the house on Arbor Drive.

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