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Santa Maria man to serve 43 years behind bars for attempted murder, other crimes

Fernando Frias, 23, of Santa Maria was arrested Wednesday, May 26, 2010, on suspicion of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and violating the terms of his parole. Original story »Plea: Not guilty to charges of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, and making criminal threatsWhat's next: Trial by jury scheduled for 2/28/11.
Fernando Frias, 23, of Santa Maria was arrested Wednesday, May 26, 2010, on suspicion of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and violating the terms of his parole. Original story »Plea: Not guilty to charges of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, and making criminal threatsWhat's next: Trial by jury scheduled for 2/28/11.

A 25-year-old Santa Maria man charged with attempted murder and other crimes relating to an assault on a teenage girl near Arroyo Grande High School more than two years ago was sentenced Wednesday to 43 years and eight months in state prison.

Fernando Frias received his sentence before Judge Barry LaBarbera in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

He previously pleaded no contest to six charges — including attempted murder and sexual battery — relating to the May 26, 2010, beating of a young woman who said she feared he would rape her if the attack continued. A bystander intervened and chased Frias away near the Fair Oaks Avenue Bridge.

Frias also pleaded no contest to the attempted kidnapping of another girl in Arroyo Grande on May 26, 2010, and acknowledged a prior strike and prison convictions.

Frias asked a 12-year-old girl for help in looking for his dog and then tried to keep the girl from riding away by grabbing her bicycle after she’d stopped, according to investigators. A neighbor appeared and scared him off.

In a consolidated Los Angeles County case from 2006 that was tried locally, Frias pleaded no contest to kidnapping, attempted murder, sexual battery, mayhem and criminal threats and admitted an enhancement of the infliction of great bodily injury.

A DNA match linked Frias to a rape case investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department five years ago, according to investigative reports.

That incident took place June 4, 2006. The victim told investigators that two men raped her while she was walking in Los Angeles.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department report, the men confronted her, threatening to kill her. Before she could use her cellphone to call for help, they beat her and took turns raping her in an alley.

Deputy District Attorney Fabiana Fede handled the case for the prosecution. Defense attorney Jeff Radding represented Frias, who must register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

On Wednesday, the mother of the attempted kidnapping victim read a letter aloud before the court.

In the letter, the girl said that the incident has scared her from going out in her neighborhood and made her fearful of strangers. She has been undergoing therapy.

Through Radding, Frias said he apologized for his actions, in open court.

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