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By Eric Heinz

The man accused of stabbing three U.S. Marines outside a late-night establishment in August in San Clemente has changed his plea status to “guilty” to two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Alex Moreno Aguirre, 24, of Dana Point was sentenced to four years in state prison on Jan. 14 in Orange County Superior Court, which was initially docketed as a pre-trial hearing.

At about 1 a.m. on Aug. 4, three U.S. Marines were stabbed in an altercation in San Clemente. None of the Marines received life-threatening injuries, but all three were taken to a local hospital and treated for their injuries.

The incident occurred on the 200 block of El Camino Real near a collection of late-night establishments. Lt. Mike Peters, the San Clemente Police Services chief, told the San Clemente Times in August that there was an initial altercation that had been resolved, but Aguirre and the Marines were in a second altercation when the stabbing occurred in a parking lot.

Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) public information officer Jaimee Blashaw said the altercation involved two men and a woman who were arguing with the three Marines. It’s after that confrontation that Aguirre allegedly stabbed the three Marines.

Moreno Aguirre fled the scene after which witnesses called 911. OCSD arrested Aguirre at a hospital in Laguna Beach, where he was being treated for his own injuries, the next day under the suspicion of attempted murder. His sentences were lowered after his guilty plea.

At his arraignment on Aug. 7, he pleaded “not guilty” to the three counts of assault with a deadly weapon with three sentence enhancements of causing “great bodily harm,” which were dismissed.

The names of the Marines were not released, but they were reported to be between 21 and 23 years old. One marine received injuries to his abdomen and another had injuries to his throat in the incident, OCSD reported at the time.

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