Man sentenced for near-fatal stabbing; said he had been jumped, beaten often

Aug 10, 2017 By Daniel Bendtsen, Staff Writer

A Lander man has been sentenced to five to eight years in prison for a stabbing incident that took place in April.

The victim in the stabbing, Tyler Raines, was hospitalized for an extended period after the incident and "came close to actually dying," Fremont County Attorney Pat LeBrun said.

Jordan Apadaca of Lander pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and battery in connection with the stabbing. He did so without receiving a plea agreement, which means district court judge Norman Young could have handed him a sentence ranging from probation to 10 years imprisonment.


Apadaca, who had been a chef at Zanmai Sushi, used a 9.5-inch sushi knife to stab Raines at least twice after the victim allegedly "sucker punched him."

Lander police were called to attend to Raines at a residence on Four Seasons Drive after the stabbing, which occurred shortly after midnight April 15.

A Fremont County Sheriff's deputy arrested Apadaca later that day. Apadaca apparently told police "numerous times" that he had stabbed someone.

When pleading guilty, Apadaca said he had drunk a fifth of vodka that night and also taken several "hits" of methamphetamine.

Raines told police that, during the incident, Apadaca said he "knew where to stab him so he would bleed out before the ambulance arrived to help him."

Leniency requested

Friends of Apadaca had written to Young before last week's sentencing, asking for "leniency."

Melody Appleby said Apadaca "has always been picked on and beaten up by others (since) the beginning of his school career and onward throughout life."

"He usually doesn't stick up for himself for the most part," she said. "This is not normal behavior for Jordan at all."

Levi Wazelle said that Apadaca "had been jumped and beat up more times than I can count."

"I feel that Jordan had enough of being beat up and stepped on and stood up for himself," he said.

When he was questioned by police, Apadaca said he had "been jumped so many times that he felt like he needed to use lethal means," according to a police affidavit.

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