SLO women to get 8 years in prison for attempted murder

A 40-year-old San Luis Obispo woman who slashed the throat of an ex-boyfriend will spend about 8 years in prison after accepting a plea agreement.

Erika Christine Deherrera is charged with first degree attempted murder, which could have resulted in a life sentence. She was also charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon and corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.

Deherrera’s victim, Robert Johnson, said he does not believe the plea agreement is fair, and that eight years in prison is not enough for attempted murder.

On June 17, 2017, Deherrera allegedly lured Johnson to a secluded location, began rubbing his shoulders and titled his head back. Deherrera then cut his throat from one side to the other with a box cutter, Johnson said.

Johnson, who lives in Hawaii, flew back to San Luis Obispo in early June to pack up items he had left behind. While in the area, he received a call from Deherrera, who said she lost all of her belongings in a fire last March in Atascadero.

Robert Johnson shortly after the attack.

After hearing the story, Johnson agreed to lend Deherrera $300 and chauffeur her to shopping and a job interview. While at Home Depot in San Luis Obispo, Deherrera bought a box cutter, Johnson said.

The two were driving to Sunny Acres, where Deherrera was living, when the woman asked Johnson to stop at the Bishop Peak trailhead so she could “chill for a bit.” They then walked to a small pond to sit on the ground and talk.

Deherrera offered to rub Johnson’s back and did so while he talked about his life in Hawaii. She then titled his head back and jabbed the box cutter into his neck, Johnson said.

Johnson said Deherrera started slicing his throat after acting like she was going to crack his neck. He then grabbed her and threw her over the top of himself.

The two fought over the box cutter and Johnson punched Deherrera in the face and kicked her before running away.  An ambulance eventually transported Johnson to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center where he received treatment for a seven inch cut that sliced through his jugular vein.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies found Deherrera hiding in bushes and arrested her.

Deherrera’s sentencing is scheduled for May 22.

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