By KAREN VELIE
A judge sentenced a Grover Beach man to life in prison with the possibility of parole for aggravated mayhem and assault convictions stemming from an incident earlier this year in Pismo Beach in which he slashed a man’s face with a knife, permanently disfiguring the victim.
Shortly after 1 a.m. on Jan. 24, Jeremiah Leo Hernandez attacked the male victim in the 200 block of Five Cities Drive in Pismo Beach, near a hotel and a gas station. Hernandez sliced the victim’s face from his hairline to his lower jaw, inflecting an injury that required extensive reconstructive surgery to repair.
On July 1, a San Luis Obispo County jury convicted Hernandez of aggravated mayhem and assault, as well as an enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury during the knife assault. Jurors also found nine factors in the aggravation allegation were true, including that the attack was violent and indicates a serious danger to society; Hernandez’s prior convictions are numerous and of increasing seriousness; he had served a prior prison term, and he was lying in wait when he attacked his victim.
Judge Timothy Covello sentenced Hernandez to life in prison with the possibility of parole. After Hernandez completes a minimum amount of time in prison, the Board of Parole Hearings will hold a hearing to determine whether he should be released from custody.
Because of changes in California law, officials cannot estimate the amount of time Hernandez will actually serve in prison, the SLO County District Attorney’s Office says.