WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A man who was found guilty by a jury last week and sentenced to 35 years in prison for stabbing a coworker at the Flying J Travel Center gets a new trial granted Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, then pleads guilty for a new sentence of 25 years.
Dillion Venegas, 31, was tried last week in 78th District Court for stabbing a fellow employee at the Flying J Travel Center last March according to court records.
However, an apparent procedural error during the punishment phase led to a filing of a joint motion for a new trial by both state and defense which was granted Tuesday, setting aside the verdict and punishment.
Venegas agreed to plead guilty, for a new sentence of 25 years. With his plea of guilty, Venegas forfeits his right to appeal. He will have to serve half of that before becoming eligible for parole.
After stabbing the coworker last March at the Flying J, police say Venegas fled the scene in his work uniform.
The 44-year-old female victim required surgery for her stab wound.
An extensive manhunt after the stabbing failed to turn up Venegas. He was later apprehended on his warrant in Cotton County.
Venegas’ record includes 18 arrests, including several for aggravated assault and one conviction. Several cases are still pending.
He was arrested in 2011 for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after a standoff with SWAT members. He received a 10-year probated sentence which was later revoked and he was sentenced to serve five years in prison.
He has a pending charge of assault of a family member in 2020 as well as assault of a family member, terroristic threat, resisting arrest, unlawful restraint, and interfering with an emergency call in 2019.
In the 2019 arrest, police say they received a report on Featherston of a man fighting with his wife and when they arrived they found a man trying to grab a woman in the front yard.
After they separated them they say the woman told them they began fighting when Venegas told her she was “a disgrace to our race” for having a relationship with a Black man. She said he hit her and spat on her while using a racial slur.
She said she tried to leave to call for help but he kept pulling her back in. When police tried to arrest Venegas, they say he lunged at his wife and tried to spit on her, and said he was going to kill her.
Officers say Venegas claimed his wife had assaulted him, but they could find no marks on his body.