Man charged for fatal 2017 South St. Paul stabbing


Daniel Anthony Cruz Hernandez

A man was charged May 2 for the death of an Oakdale man who was stabbed and robbed outside a South St. Paul apartment building last summer.

Daniel Anthony Cruz Hernandez, a 20-year-old from Roseville, was charged with second-degree murder for allegedly killing 19-year-old Jordan David Paredes.

The murder charge carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison. Hernandez was also charged with first-degree aggravated robbery, which has a maximum sentence of 20 years, a $35,000 fine, or both.

His first court appearance was May 2, and his bail was set at $750,000. 

 

Conflicting stories

On Aug. 2, 2017, around 3:15 a.m., South St. Paul officers were dispatched to an apartment building in the 400 block of Camber Avenue on a report of a domestic disturbance, according to court records. When officers arrived, they discovered and provided aid to an unconscious man lying on the ground with what appeared to be a stab wound — the man was later identified as Paredes, who was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at the hospital. 

While investigating the scene, court records say police identified three juveniles who reported they had witnessed Paredes’ assault. One of the juveniles told police they had observed three people “attacking” two men; one of the two men ran away while the other stayed in the fight.

According to court documents, the man who stayed in the fight was punched and then stabbed before walking away and eventually falling down. The attackers took things from the two men before driving away in a car.

Police were able to determine multiple individuals who were involved in the fight, including Hernandez. 

Police identified the man who ran from the fight, who told police Paredes and he left another apartment complex when they saw men in the street. One of these men punched him and he heard Paredes, who had a red backpack filled with about 100 grams of marijuana, yell.

According to court documents, police determined that Hernandez and the other two men were present at a nearby gas station in the time before Paredes’ death, despite their statements to the contrary. Video surveillance recovered from the gas station showed the group arrived around 2:30 a.m. in a red Toyota Celica, which was later discovered to be registered to a family member of Hernandez’s. 

Given this information, plus witness accounts of parties involved leaving the scene in a red car, an alert was put out for the vehicle, court documents say. The Roseville Police Department located the vehicle on Aug. 8, 2017.

A search of the vehicle showed the carpets of the vehicle appeared very clean and possible vacuumed. Bloodstains were visible on the center console, which was submitted for DNA testing. According to court documents, the tests determined the blood was a match for Paredes. 

 

‘That was me’

Police interviewed Hernandez on Aug. 15, 2017, and he said he and the other men were hanging out when Paredes and the other man approached them asking for a ride. Moments later, two women pulled up. The two men asked one of the women for a ride, and when she said no the groups began to argue. Hernandez told police he and one of the other men in his group tried to break up the fight, after Paredes punched one of the women in the car. 

According to court documents, police spoke with a concerned witness on March 28 of this year. This witness said Hernandez drove his red car to where the witness was staying and said he had been part of a fight in South St. Paul. 

Hernandez allegedly told the witness that Paredes was hitting on one of the women that showed up, and that his group confronted him. During the confrontation, Paredes hit a woman and ran, at which time the group of three men allegedly ran after him and started hitting him. The witness said Hernandez allegedly admitted to stabbing Paredes and described where he threw the knife afterwards.

Upon the witness showing Hernandez an article he had seen online about the incident, Hernandez’s face allegedly changed and he said, “That was me.”

Hernandez’s next court appearance is May 22 in Hastings.

 

— Hannah Burlingame

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