Alleged teenage gang member to be tried as adult in violent stabbing case

CHICO, Calif. - An alleged teenage gang member will be tried as an adult in connection with a violent stabbing in Chico in March.  The suspect is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on adult charges of assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey identified the suspect as 16-year-old Chico gang member, John Vigil a.k.a. "Little Johnnie."

On Wednesday, juvenile court judge at the Butte County Superior Court found the defendant unfit to be tried as a juvenile because of the sophistication and the severity of the stabbing.

The incident happened on March 30 at a housing complex on Sunset Court in Chico.

Ramsey said the entire assault was caught on surveillance cameras.  Ramsey said the video footage clearly shows Vigil assault a 24-year-old victim.  Vigil first hit the victim on the head with a glass bottle, stunning the victim.  According to Ramsey, Vigil then threw that same bottle at the victim's head, striking the victim.

Later, the footage shows the victim backing away from the defendant.  Vigil then made several upward thrusts into the victim's body. 

Ramsey said Vigil viciously stabbed and slashed the victim nine times leaving the victim in a pool of blood. Vigil was arrested by Chico Police the next day and has remained in custody in the Butte County Juvenile Hall.

The victim suffered several life threatening wounds, including a punctured lung and damaged small intestine. He underwent emergency surgery at Enloe Hospital and remained hospitalized for several days.

Ramsey said Vigil is a known gang member, but the motive for the stabbing is unclear.

If convicted the defendant faces up to 16 years in state prison. Due to the defendant's age, a portion of that sentence could be served in the California Division of Juvenile Justice, formerly known as the California Youth Authority. 

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