Delavan man charged with stabbing cousin to death bound over for trial a second time

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Andrea Anderson
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

ELKHORN—The Delavan man charged with stabbing his cousin to death in May was bound over for trial Tuesday after a second preliminary hearing.

Rafael Olivarez, 39, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide.

Olivarez is accused of stabbing Ivan Guerrero at Guerrero's apartment at 509 Lawson School Road, Delavan, early in the morning May 4.

In August, a Walworth County judge decided Olivarez should have a new preliminary hearing after prosecutors filed an amended criminal complaint in response to concerns raised by the defense.

Defense attorney Travis Schwantes had filed a motion to dismiss the charge, saying a key fact in the criminal complaint was wrong. The amended criminal complaint put the issue to rest.

At Tuesday's preliminary hearing, Schwantes argued the amended criminal complaint; statements from Guerrero's wife, Brenda Garcia; and Tuesday's testimony from Joaquin Alonzo, a Delavan police detective, do not provide sufficient evidence Olivarez probably committed a felony.

"They have to put that knife in Mr. Olivarez's hands in order to establish, even to the probable cause standard, that a bind over should occur and this matter should continue," Schwantes said. 

District Attorney Dan Necci said the multiple stab wounds to Guerrero's upper abdomen and "deep slashing wounds" on Guerrero's arms "did not magically appear."

Judge Phillip Koss agreed, and bound Olivarez over for trial.

A steak knife with blood on it and scissors were found outside in the grass. Another bloodied steak knife was found in the kitchen, according to police reports.

Another report indicates Olivarez "grabbed one of the kitchen knives in the apartment and intentionally stabbed" Guerrero in the upper body.

Olivarez is being held at the Walworth County Jail on a $1 million cash bond.

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