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DSA In the News

Not guilty plea in coastside neckslashing

Published on 2/11/2011

The Moss Beach man accused of sawing at the neck of his live-in girlfriend with a serrated knife in early December pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and using a knife.

David Jon Vanalstine, 56, was charged in absentia while recuperating himself for an undisclosed condition that befell him at the time of his arrest. After more than a month in the hospital, Vanalstine is now housed in the county jail and appearing in court personally.

After pleading not guilty to all charges, Vanalstine waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing and received March 9 date.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Vanalstine at his Pillar Ridge Estates residence Dec. 2 after responding to a call by the 56-year-old victim. She told dispatchers she had been stabbed by Vanalstine, who was still inside the home.

Vanalstine allegedly held the woman down on the couch by her hair and began sawing at her neck with a serrated knife, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Vanalstine allegedly stopped when the woman’s friend arrived. Deputies found her outside with a 10-centimeter laceration to her neck, from her carotid artery to her ear, and Vanalstine also at the scene, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Both were taken to the hospital where the woman underwent surgery and Vanalstine began treatment for his condition.

The attack came days after Vanalstine was sentenced to 45 days in jail for a 2010 misdemeanor drunk driving conviction with priors. Police believe the victim turned Vanalstine in on the charge. Judge Cliff Cretan stayed the sentence until Jan. 22. That term is now on hold pending the outcome of the attempted murder case.

Vanalstine remains in custody without bail.