Man ordered to stand trial for attempted murder in connection with 2023 stabbing at Lawrence residence

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

The Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center is pictured in March of 2022. The center houses the Douglas County District Court and other county services.

A man who was stabbed four times testified on Monday in Douglas County District Court that he doesn’t know why he was attacked by a coworker in January 2023.

That coworker is Dimas Bencomo Bustamante, 35, who faces one count of attempted second-degree murder in connection with an incident on Jan. 31, 2023, in the 1100 block of East 25th Terrace in Lawrence, as the Journal-World reported. During Bustamante’s first appearance the state said that he had been in Lawrence for only about a week.

During Bustamante’s preliminary hearing on Monday, the man testified that he knew Bustamante’s brother after working together in construction jobs but that he had only had one interaction with Bustamante himself while working. So, he said, when Bustamante grabbed him by the neck and stabbed him in the chest, he was as surprised as he was confused.

The man said that he and some of his coworkers lived in two houses in the 1100 block of 25th Terrace and they were packing up to go to Illinois for a job. He said that Bustamante’s brother had told the man to sit a minute and join him in watching a rodeo on television.

The man said that while he watched he could hear Bustamante making noise in the kitchen, then all of a sudden Bustamante grabbed him from behind and drove a knife into his chest.

The man said he raised his hand to defend himself and Bustamante then stabbed him in the arm and hand three times before Bustamante’s brother pulled the man out of the house and across the street to a neighbor’s house.

The man said Bustamante’s brother pounded on the neighbor’s door so hard that the neighbor didn’t answer but called police right away. Police arrived shortly after and arrested Bustamante while the man was taken to the hospital for his wounds.

Assistant District Attorney Madeline Bjorklun asked the man what may have caused Bustamante to attack him.

“He had no reason. I never even knew him,” the man said.

The man added that there was no interaction between him and Bustamante that day prior to the stabbing and that they had only met once while working to have a brief exchange about equipment.

The court also heard evidence about an alleged incident that occurred while Bustamante was in custody months later. On April 10, 2023, a corrections officer, Blake Winter, was taking Bustamante to get some fresh clothes at the jail. Winter testified Monday that he looked away for a moment to address another inmate and Bustamante punched Winter in the face.

After the testimony from the stabbing victim and the corrections officer, Judge Stacey Donovan ordered Bustamante to stand trial on both the attempted second-degree murder charge and an additional felony count of battery on a law enforcement officer.

While in custody, Bustamante was found incompetent and unfit to help his attorney, John Kerns, with his case, and Bustamante was ordered to spend 90 days at Osawatomie State Hospital in June of 2023, according to court records. He has since been restored to competency. He is being held on a $100,000 cash or surety bond and is next scheduled in court on March 22 for arraignment.


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