Benjamin Sanchez Nieto

Benjamin Sánchez Nieto was stabbed outside his apartment on Dec. 30. Community members are fundraising to help Sánchez Nieto, who is still recovering from the near-fatal attack.

An online auction that some locals organized for stabbing victim and longtime Jackson resident Benjamin Sánchez Nieto raised $4,300 to help him recover, according to Adriene Henderson, who helped lead the effort.

The auction featured art, activities, photography and other items donated by local artists and business owners.

Henderson said the results far surpassed their expectations, “truly showing us all that for every random act of violence and hate, there are far more people in this world willing to step up with random acts of giving and kindness.”

Sánchez Nieto was stabbed Dec. 30 just as he was getting home from work.

Months later he is still receiving medical care for his recovery. To help offset the cost of his care, which included an emergency airlift to Idaho Falls, Henderson helped launch the online auction.

Proceeds went directly to Sánchez Nieto’s GoFundMe account.

“I would like to thank everyone for their support through this trying period of my life as I continue to recover physically and mentally from being stabbed,” he said. “Your support has made my recovery easier.”

Jordan Rich, with Voices JH, started the online fundraiser in February.

Soon after, Grace Peck of Little Scout Creative and Roam Mercantile, Adriene Henderson and others decided to organize the online community-led auction to help boost Sánchez Nieto’s fundraiser.

With the help of the auction it has raised about $34,000 of its $50,000 goal.

“Our community is incredible, and we feel so honored to share it with such generous and thoughtful people like you,” Henderson said in an email to donors.

Police arrested Riley Sills in connection with the stabbing. He’s being held at Teton County Jail and is charged with attempted murder. After the stabbing, Sills was the subject of a lengthy, overnight standoff with police that went well into the afternoon on New Year’s Eve Day.

Sills was on supervised probation for two other felonies when the stabbing happened, according to prosecutors. The defendant pleaded not guilty in February, and his trial is scheduled for July.

Sánchez Nieto, meanwhile, is reminded of being attacked every time he takes off his shirt and sees the jagged scar where the knife went in — on the left side of his chest, not far from his heart.

“I don’t understand why this happened,” Sánchez Nieto told the News&Guide. “I don’t know the motive.”

Sánchez Nieto and Sills don’t know each other, but the two live in the same apartment complex in Jackson. Prosecutors have called the attack unprovoked.

“Your support has made my recovery easier.” — Benjamin Sánchez Nieto Stabbing victim

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or courts@jhnewsandguide.com.

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

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