Crime

Woman who allegedly slashed boyfriend’s throat could face life in prison

Erika Christine Deherrera, 40, of San Luis Obispo, is accused of cutting a man’s throat near Bishop Peak in June.
Erika Christine Deherrera, 40, of San Luis Obispo, is accused of cutting a man’s throat near Bishop Peak in June.

A San Luis Obispo woman accused of slashing a man’s throat with a box cutter near a Bishop Peak trailhead faces the possibility of life in prison after a judge upheld an attempted murder charge last week.

Erika Christine Deherrera, 40, is also charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon and corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant. The charges carry enhancements for use of a deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury, according to court records.

At a preliminary hearing Thursday, San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Michael Duffy upheld the charges and ordered the case proceed toward trial.

Her attorney, Pierre Blahnik, declined to discuss the case Monday other than to say his client acted in self defense.

On Monday afternoon, Deherrera remained in custody in lieu of $500,000 bail at San Luis Obispo County Jail, where she’s been since June 17. At about 6:45 p.m. that evening, police received reports of a man bleeding at the Bishop Peak trailhead on Foothill Boulevard, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

When officers arrived, they found a 55-year-old Atascadero man with a large gash across his neck. The alleged victim, who The Tribune is not naming because he’s an alleged victim of a violent crime, told witnesses at the scene that his girlfriend had cut his throat, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Police allegedly found Deherrera hiding in the bushes near Cerro Romauldo Avenue.

Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham said Monday that prosecutors are not specifying the degree of the attempted murder charge — meaning that should a jury find Deherrera guilty, they could choose between first- or second-degree attempted murder. (The latter charge carries a maximum of nine years.

The remaining two charges carry a maximum of about seven years total.

Deherrera is due in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Aug. 10 to re-enter a plea.

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