Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events
HOME

25 to Life for Stephanie Erends



stephanie_erends.jpg

In an emotionally-charged hearing in a Placer County courtroom today, Stephanie Nicole Erends of Roseville was sentenced to state prison for 25 years to life without possibility of parole for the brutal murder of her best friend in 2008.

The term imposed by Placer County Superior Court Judge Colleen Nichols means that Erends, 26, will spend the rest of her life in prison.

Erends was found guilty on Dec. 9 by a trial jury of first-degree murder in the throat-slashing death of her longtime friend, Alicia Ernst, 24, of Citrus Heights.

The jury also found that a special allegation that Erends was “lying in wait” was true. That allegation enhanced the penalty to life in prison without parole.

Family members of both the victim and the defendant gave tearful statements to the court. In addition, Erends interrupted the prosecutor, Garen Horst, as he was recapping the crime by telling him to “shut up.”

Erends’ outburst drew a verbal reprimand from Judge Nichols, who also had to remind the defendant’s grandmother not to talk about the trial itself when she was giving a statement about her granddaughter to the court.

Alicia Martens, the victim’s mother, told the court that Ernst was “my best friend. I loved her with all my heart.”

She had unkind words for Erends, calling her a “cancer” who spread ugliness.

“Stephanie Erends, I will never forgive you,” she told her.

After the statements, Nichols said the crime had caused “the devastation of two families.”

“This has been very difficult for you,” she told them. “I can’t imagine your suffering.”

During the trial, Horst, the prosecutor, contended that Erends murdered her friend out of jealousy and resentment stemming from presumed insults and a belief that Ernst may have had an affair with one of Erends’ former boyfriends.

Horst introduced evidence and called witnesses to prove that Erends killed Ernst in a surprise attack during the early morning hours of March 8, 2008, as the two were in a parked car on a remote section of Walerga Road near Roseville.

After being arrested several days later, Erends confessed to detectives of the Placer County Sheriff’s Department that she went into the back seat of the car, got a razor-sharp cutting tool that she’d planted there and, from behind, began slashing at Ernst, who was seat-belted in the front passenger seat.

After the attack, Erends pulled the body from the car, tried to cut the victim’s fingers off to prevent fingerprint identification, poured ammonia on the victim and then tossed garbage from the side of the road on top of the body to keep it from being discovered.

During the trial, recordings of Erends’ interviews with the detectives were played to the jury, which was also provided with transcripts.

Erends, who had hoped for a jury verdict of voluntary manslaughter, which carries a far less sentence, testified in the trial and tried to recant the incriminating statements she had given to the detectives.

She denied planning the attack, saying she had reacted in anger as she and Ernst sat in the car at about 3:30 a.m. Erends said she confronted her friend over making fun of her several hours earlier at the home of Ernst’s boyfriend.

She said the two began fighting and pulling each other’s hair in the front seat and that she reached into a door panel for the scraping tool and began slashing at Ernst but did not intend to kill her.

Erends said she panicked after realizing what she had done and tried to cover up the crime. She said she initially gave detectives the more incriminating story about planning the crime because she felt it was what the investigators wanted to hear and because she felt guilty about what she had done.

Horst thanked Sheriff’s Detectives Don Murchison and Christina Woo for their thorough investigation into the crime.

“They were instrumental in the success of the prosecution and in determining the truth about what happened,” Horst said.





Placer County News Headlines

Transportation Sales Tax Closer to Ballot MeasureThe Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA) Board of Directors, acting as the Placer County Local Transportation Authority, unanimously adopted the Keep Placer Moving Transportation Investment Plan

Beach House Restaurant in Pacific GrovePacific Grove, CA- Gazing upon the ebb and flow of the cool, clear Pacific waters as they lap against the shore of Monterey Bay as the sun gently descends toward the horizon is a damn fine way

Placer County Grand Jury Report Critical of Local Government Operations This year's Placer County Grand Jury Final Report contains some individual reports which are critical of local government operations

Placer County Fair in Roseville 2016ROSEVILLE, CA. Just in time to head off the summer vacation blues, the Placer County Fair, June 23-36, comes to life with fabulous fair food, swirling carnival rides, farm animals

Summer of Free Museums in Placer CountyMuseums throughout Placer County will offer free admission on select days all summer as the Heritage Trail Museums Tour returns for its ninth year

Python Snake on the Loose in Rocklin LocatedRocklin, CA- The Rocklin Police Department was informed the snake that escaped from its owner was located.

Rocklin Police Investigating Suspicious CircumstanceRocklin, CA- On Monday, June 20, 2016, Rocklin Police responded to a report of a suspicious person inside a gated community near Hillcrest Drive.

Lexus RX 350: Revised and Not Just for WomenRoseville, CA- Although enamored with this Lexus model in previous years, the thinking here was the Lexus RX was a luxury, midsize crossover sport utility vehicle

Placer County to Limit Medical Marijuana CultivationCommercial medical marijuana cultivation and sale will not be allowed in unincorporated Placer County, after the board of supervisors voted 3-2

California Fires Update Summary (6.22.16)Over 5,000 firefighters are battling 4 large wildfires in California, while firefighters around the rest of the state battled dozens of new fires

Roseville Gas Prices Holding SteadyRoseville, CA- Roseville gas prices have been holding relatively steady this past week. As usual, Costco, Sam's Club and ARCO dominate the low price leaderboard

Students Impacted by Walsh Family ScholarshipsRocklin, CA - Sierra College students who received the John G. and Lillian M. Walsh Family Scholarship say that it encouraged them to come to Sierra College


NEWS: In Case You Missed It