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Stabbing suspect pleads no contest

A Grass Valley man accused of stabbing two men in a racially motivated fight near a Colfax Avenue liquor store in August pleaded no contest to stabbing one man, while other charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

Defendants often plead no contest when they are either guilty of the crime or they believe the evidence against them is sufficient to prove guilt at trial.

J.C. Horn, 41, was arrested Aug. 26 after the confrontation in a parking lot near Long Bottle Shop on Colfax Avenue left two men injured; Jason Dunbar, 32, of Grass Valley and Adam Lee, 27, of Penn Valley.



Horn also entered a no contest plea Monday to a sexual assault charge unrelated to the Aug. 26 stabbing.

According to court records, a 16-year-old girl accused Horn of committing sexual acts with her last July in his apartment on Colfax Avenue.




According to police reports, two teen girls in interviews with police said Horn offered shelter, alcohol and drugs to several runaway juveniles in exchange for sex.

They said Horn often bought them and other juveniles beer from Long Bottle Shop.

Horn was originally charged with six counts of sexual assault against two victims, but five charges were dropped Monday, and Horn pleaded no contest to one count of a lewd and lascivious act with a child between 14 and 16, with 10 years difference in age.

In the Aug. 26 stabbing, the artery in victim Jason Dunbar’s arm was severed, a nerve was damaged, and he lost seven pints of blood.

At Sutter Roseville Medical Center, a surgical team spent six hours taking 10 inches of artery from inside Dunbar’s thigh and putting it into the cut arm, and repairing the damaged nerve.

Lee was treated and released that night for a superficial puncture wound to his back and a cut on his wrist.

According to police reports, Lee, who is white, told police that Horn, who is black, knew Lee is a “white supremacist.”

Lee said he and Horn knew each other from Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Lee said Horn yelled racial slurs at him, then attacked him and Dunbar with knives outside Horn’s apartment on Colfax Avenue next to the liquor store.

Horn told police a different story; He said Lee and Dunbar used a racial epithet as he was walking toward the liquor store, then as he walked home carrying an 18-pack of beer, Lee punched him in the back of the head.

He said he kept walking, dropped the beer off at his apartment, then went outside and brandished a knife at Lee and Dunbar.

Horn said Lee charged him, and he fought both men with two knives, not knowing if he had cut anyone.

He said he got into a car with his friends Mary Amuzie and Lashawanda Howse and threw the knives into some bushes along Slate Creek Road.

Horn initially pleaded innocent in August to two assault charges, but changed the plea to no contest Monday.

As part of the plea agreement, Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Ron Wolfson dropped the assault charge that listed Lee as the victim.

Amuzie and Howse were charged with being an accessory to the assaults. The charge against Howse was dropped Tuesday while she was in court for an unrelated charge of being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Amuzie pleaded no contest Monday to the accessory charge and was sentenced to 68 days in jail, and she may serve more time for violating her parole, Wolfson said.

Horn is scheduled for sentencing on the assault charge at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 20 in Nevada County Superior Court.

The maximum sentence for his crime is three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Horn will be sentenced for the sex charge at the same time he is sentenced for the assault.

To contact staff writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@theunion.com or call 477-4236.


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