Suspect claims self defense in stabbing death of 19-year-old Iowan

Iowa News

TIPTON, Iowa (AP) — A suspect in the stabbing death of a 19-year-old in rural Iowa plans to claim self defense at his trial.

The Quad City Times reports that 21-year-old Milton Jermaine Cole Serrano Jr. disclosed his planned defense in recently filed court documents. He is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Chantz Stevens, of Wilton, during a July 19 party at a rural home south of Clarence.

A trial has not been scheduled yet. Serrano remains in the Cedar County Jail under a $1 million cash-only bond.

According to the police reports, Serrano had been asked to leave the party by several other party-goers, which led to two physical altercations. After the first altercation, Serrano allegedly made reference to having a knife in his pocket and threatened to stab people at the scene.

When Serrano got into the second altercation, with Stevens, he allegedly retrieved the knife from his pocket and stabbed Stevens twice in the abdomen before leaving.

Later that morning, Serrano posted to social media, saying he had been involved in a physical altercation and had stabbed someone.

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