District attorney: $1 million cash bond set for Rafael Olivarez, man suspected in Delavan stabbing

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Andrea Anderson
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

ELKHORN—A $1 million cash bond was set Tuesday morning for the man suspected of stabbing his cousin to death Sunday in Delavan.

Rafael Olivarez, 39, is suspected of killing Ivan Guerrero, 31, at Guerrero's apartment at 509 Lawson School Road, Delavan.

Guerrero had a "large penetrating stab wound to the upper abdominal area," Walworth County district attorney, Daniel Necci, said at a Tuesday morning court appearance, according to a transcript of the hearing.

Officers found a pool of blood in front of the apartment and trails of blood in the grass and on the sidewalk, Necci said, according to the transcript.

A medical examination later found Guerrero had suffered "several" stab wounds, Necci said, according to the transcript.

Early Sunday morning, a family argument escalated, and Olivarez, 51 1/2 E. Walworth Ave., Delavan, stabbed Guerrero, Delavan Police Chief Timothy O'Neill said Monday.

The Delavan Police Department and the Walworth County Sheriff's Office responded to the apartment at about 3:17 a.m., Sunday.

Olivarez was taken into custody, and Guerrero was taken to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville, where he died, O'Neill said.

Necci will be the prosecutor in the case.

Olivarez appeared in court at the Walworth County Judicial Center via video from the Walworth County Jail at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday.

He appeared in the morning because the court "needed to set bond right away," Necci said in a Tuesday morning interview. Typically, people accused of misdemeanors or traffic violations appear at 8:15 a.m. Other defendants appear at 1:15 p.m.

The public defender's office was under the impression the bond hearing was at 1:15 p.m., the transcript states.

Necci declined to comment on the case after the hearing, saying the investigation is ongoing. A criminal complaint will be filed "soon," he said.

Olivarez is being held at the jail while the investigation continues.

Olivarez will be charged with first-degree intentional homicide, Necci said, according to the transcript.

On Monday, O'Neill said preliminary interviews were completed, and police reports should be sent by Tuesday to the District Attorney's Office.

Guerrero's wife, Brenda Garcia, told officers Olivarez attacked Guerrero, "stabbing him in the abdomen during a fight," Necci said, according to the transcript.

The two men were arguing about a deceased family member and the events surrounding that death several years ago, O'Neill said.

Police were called after someone in the apartment contacted someone outside the apartment who then called the police after the stabbing, he said.

Olivarez was waiting for police outside the apartment when officers arrived, he said.

Guerrero's four children and another visiting child were upstairs sleeping when the incident occurred. Police had the children exit the home through an upstairs window and down a ladder, O'Neill said.

At some point during the investigation, Olivarez told officials: "I may be in prison for the rest of my life, but I got Mexicans that will take care of things for me out there," Necci said, according to the transcript.

A knife believed to be the weapon was found at the scene, O'Neill said. The knife and a pair of scissors were taken from the scene, Necci said, according to the transcript.

Olivarez is scheduled to be back in court at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday for an adjourned initial appearance, Necci said.

Travis Schwantes, assistant public defender, is defending Olivarez, Necci said. 

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