By Shereen Siewert

An 18-year-old man is facing attempted first-degree intentional homicide charges after allegedly stabbing an acquaintance multiple times outside a rural Marathon County tavern.

Leovigildo Cruz Hernandez, of Abbotsford, first appeared in Marathon County Circuit Court on Jan. 24 for a probable cause hearing connected to the near-fatal stabbing and was ordered held on a $250,000 cash bond. Formal charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide by use of a dangerous weapon were filed Feb. 8.

Police responded in the early morning hours of Jan. 22 to Perla’s Place Bar, 410 S. Front St. in the village of Unity when the owner of the tavern reported a man who was stabbed and bleeding from the stomach. The man was transported to Marshfield medical Center by ambulance.

The alleged victim told police he suspected Hernandez, to whom he owed about $50 from a $600 loan made about a year prior. Hernandez and the man who were stabbed are from the same hometown in Mexico and know one another. The man, whose name is not being released, told police he was attacked in the parking lot, where investigators discovered pools of blood and a knife.

The attempted homicide charge carries a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison, plus an additional five years for using a dangerous weapon.

Hernandez made an initial appearance Wednesday. He remains behind bars, with a preliminary hearing set for Feb. 15.