Jury convicts man of attempted murder
A Steele County jury has found a man with a violent history who attacked and stabbed a woman with a knife guilty of attempted murder.
On Friday, the jury returned a guilty verdict against Ron Jaeger, 36, of Rochester in Steele County District Court. He was convicted of second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault, which are both felonies.
“It was a hard fought battle,” said Steele County Attorney Daniel McIntosh shortly after the verdict was announced.
During the trial, Jaeger took the stand in his own defense claiming he acted in self-defense when he stabbed his ex-girlfriend, Jessica Dominguez. He said she attacked him first and that he didn’t intentionally harm her.
“She had eight stab wounds,” McIntosh pointed out. “The way he described the interaction didn’t make sense with the way she was injured.”
McIntosh called 14 witnesses to the stand during the trial. “There was a lot of evidence for the jury to go through,” he said. He noted for jurors, the question really came down to: Did the physical evidence support what the victim testified to?
Jaeger was on trial for a stabbing that took place on June 1, 2017 at the Skyline Gardens trailer park in Owatonna. Dominguez, 38, was stabbed eight times in the abdomen, back and face. Jaeger was reportedly high on methamphetamine at the time of the stabbing.
After taking her vehicle, Jaeger was arrested a short time later in Dodge County with blood on him. He has been locked up in the Steele County Detention Center since that time.
Jaeger was initially found incompetent to stand trial but he was later ruled competent in July 2018. The start of his trial has been pushed back several times.
During his time of being locked up at the county jail, Jaeger has allegedly assaulted corrections officers. He has two pending assault charges for his jailhouse behavior. In one of the assaults, a corrections officer was punched and suffered a concussion. In another assault, Jaeger allegedly tossed urine at a corrections officer.
Because of Jaeger’s violent behavior at the jail, McIntosh requested in court last week that he be transferred out of the local jail to the Minnesota Department of Corrections in St. Cloud on Monday even though he hasn’t been sentenced yet. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 12 in
“It hasn’t gone very well at our jail,” McIntosh said in regards to the transfer request. McIntosh said Jaeger is sick of the Steele jail while jail personnel have the same feelings about him. “It was better for everyone involved for him to get a change of scenery,” McIntosh added.
Jaeger’s sentencing is set for Nov. 12 in front of Judge Joseph Bueltel. McIntosh said he will ask the judge for 20 years, which is the maximum allowed by sentencing guidelines. He said the severity of the offense and Jaeger’s criminal history warrant the high sentence.
“He has quite a history of violence,” McIntosh said.
Jaeger was convicted of felony domestic assault in Olmsted County in 2009, terroristic threats in 2014 and second-degree felony assault with a dangerous weapon in 2006.