By Dan Nienaber
Free Press Staff Writer
MANKATO — An Owatonna man who was brutally beaten and left for dead in LeHillier is now facing felony charges himself for allegedly breaking into a Mankato house and threatening his assailant’s sister.
Police responded to the assault report Sept. 12, about two months after 26-year-old Joshua Michael Jeno was found along Blue Earth County Road 69 after being tied up, dragged down a trail and beaten on July 8.
After he was found, Jeno told investigators he had been using methamphetamine at a Blue Earth County Park with Dustin Lee Murilla, 23, before Murilla attacked him.
Murilla pleaded guilty to attempted murder last month and has started his 15-year sentence at the prison in St. Cloud.
Amber Murilla, Dustin’s sister, called police Sept. 12 to report she was sleeping at her Mankato home and woke to find Jeno in her bedroom. She said she asked Jeno how he got in and he told her he had broken in, according to a criminal complaint charging Jeno with one felony count of first-degree burglary and two misdemeanor counts of fifth-degree assault.
Jeno is Amber Murilla’s ex-boyfriend and he had been told to stay away from her due to earlier incidents, the complaint said. Murilla also said Jeno told her he wanted her to come outside to talk to him and some friends.
“(Murilla) felt that Jeno was trying to lure her outside so Jeno and his friends could assault her,” the complaint said. “(She) stated she felt Jeno was trying to get back at her family for due to an unrelated incident with Jeno and (her) brother.”
She was referring to the July incident where Dustin Murilla drove Jeno to Kasota, beat him with a tire iron and tire jack, and attempted to choke him by forcing boxer shorts down his throat.
When Amber Murilla became frightened and attempted to leave her room on Sept. 12, Jeno allegedly pulled out a pool ball rapped in a bandana and started swinging at her, the complaint said. She ran from the room and woke up a man who was sleeping on the couch. That man told an officer Jeno also swung the pool ball and bandana at him when he tried to ask him to leave.
Jeno eventually left when he was told the police were being called but not before he stomped on the other man’s foot.
Jeno’s first court appearance has been scheduled for Feb. 21.