Last month, three people were stabbed in a dispute outside Mile High Stadium after a Thursday night game between the Chargers and Broncos. On Friday, prosecutors announced that charges won’t be filed against the prime suspect.
“There was no one who could make a positive identification that [Justin] Manzanares stabbed anyone,” a spokesperson for Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey said, via the Denver Post. “We didn’t believe we could prove it.”
Still, three people were stabbed. And one of the victims isn’t happy.
“I think it’s a horrible decision,” Mathew DeHerrera said, via the Post. “He’s walking on the streets after stabbing three people and almost killing me.”
But DeHerrera also concedes he was unable to positively identify the perpetrator in a lineup.
“It was dark out and I didn’t get a good look at the guy,” DeHerrera said.
Another potential avenue for the type of reasonable doubt that could have resulted in an acquittal comes from the notion of self defense, given that the stabbing allegedly occurred as part of a fight that resulted from a minor traffic incident. It’s no surprise, then, that prosecutors opted not to pick a fight they’d likely lose.
That doesn’t stop the victims from filing a civil suit against Manzanares, since the standard for civil liability is much lower. However, they may not be able to recover much money. Due to the publicity from the incident, Manzanares was fired from his job.