Criminal proceedings continue for the Moss Beach man who allegedly sawed a 10-inch laceration into his girlfriend's neck in 2010, the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office said Monday.
David Vanalstine, 57, was scheduled for a jury trial on April 8, 2013, after a San Mateo County Court judge found him competent to stand trial based upon doctors’ reports. However, two witnesses are unavailable that date, so the case will be continued Sept. 3, 2013.
In December 2011, Vanalstine's lawyer Frank Bell asked the court for permission to receive a mental competency evaluation for his client after Bell expressed doubts regarding the 57-year-old's competency.
Vanalstine — who is facing charges for attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated battery — is accused of sawing his high school sweetheart’s neck with a serrated knife in their mobile home on Dec. 2, 2010. He missed his court date six times since then because he was not medically well enough to show up, according District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
Vanalstine had originally been scheduled for a jury trial in county court in January 2012. His case was delayed yet again as the court was yet to receive the doctors' reports about his mental competency.
Prosecutors say Vanalstine’s motive for the gruesome attack may have been connected to a DUI criminal case that was resolved on Nov. 29, 2010. His 55-year-old girlfriend called cops reporting that he had been driving while intoxicated, Wagstaffe said.
The couple had dated in high school, but later reconnected and had been sharing a home in Pillar Ridge mobile home park for the last three years. When the girlfriend came home from work one night, Vanalstine “came from his room, pulled out a knife, held her down on the couch by her hair and began sawing at her neck with the serrated knife,” Wagstaffe said.
Vanalstine allegedly stopped attacking his girlfriend when the victim’s friend arrived, Wagstaffe said. The girlfriend, who was losing a ton of blood, then grabbed the phone, ran outside and called 911, he said. She was transported to Stanford Hospital, where she underwent surgery, and after receiving treatment, she made a full recovery.
Vanalstine was taken into custody at the scene, but then rushed to the hospital with medical problems unrelated to the alleged attack.
The defendant is in custody on no bail status. He faces multiple felony charges, including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
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