7-year prison term for Cool man in Auburn stabbing

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - Initially charged with attempted murder, a Cool man has been sentenced to the upper term of seven years for stabbing a man who had chased him down in a car to recover stolen property. The victim was stabbed four times in an incident authorities said started with a late Friday night car break-in June 17 and ended with the victim seriously injured and bleeding out on an Auburn street. Judge Colleen Nichols sentenced 20-year-old Gavin Rasmussen to a seven-year state prison term Thursday in a plea agreement on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. Prosecutor Dave Tellman said that both the 19-year-old victim and the victim’s mother spoke at the sentencing, and testified that their lives had been altered irreparably. They said the stab wounds resulted in several surgeries to repair damage and the man’s spleen was removed. The knife used in the attack was never recovered, Tellman said. Auburn Police arrested another man – Joseph James Montgomery, 19, of Cool – at the stabbing scene that night along the 500-block of Auburn Folsom Road. While Rasmussen fled the scene, Montgomery – who had been riding with Rasmussen – stayed with the victim and contacted emergency personnel. Montgomery was also initially arrested on an attempted murder charge but was sentenced to a year in jail for assault with a deadly weapon and being an accessory to the crime after the fact. Montgomery took part in the attack with a miniature souvenir baseball bat and initially gave investigators misleading information about Rasmussen’s identity, court documents show. According to the police report, the victim discovered that his car had been broken into at Auburn Lake Trails, a subdivision in the El Dorado County community of Cool. When he saw a car driving away, he got in his own vehicle and followed the other car along Highway 49 from Cool to Auburn. During the pursuit, the other vehicle collided with a truck but continued on before stopping in a parking lot. The victim confronted Rasmussen and Montgomery, demanding his property back. An altercation ensued and the victim was stabbed multiple times in the torso, authorities said. Rasmussen was identified as the perpetrator soon after the crime and turned himself into police a week after the stabbing. Tellman said the victim thanked Montgomery at Thursday’s court session in North Auburn for remaining at the scene and calling 911. Montgomery apologized to the victim and his family, he said. Rasmussen declined to make a statement when given the opportunity, Tellman said.