yellow pages news jobs local specials coupons hotels events calendar movie times RSS News Feeds
Rocklin and Roseville Today
   |   Current Temp: 57.0 F (13.9 C)
 

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.

  • Citrus Heights woman murdered, Roseville woman jailed (Tuesday, March 11, 2008)
    A woman whose body was found Monday morning near Walerga Road has been identified and a Roseville woman is in custody for her murder. The victim, Alicia Ernst, 24, (birth date: 05-26-83) of Citrus Heights
  • Stephanie Erends arraigned on murder charge (Tuesday, March 18, 2008)
    Stephanie N. Erends, who was arrested Monday for the murder of Alicia Ernst, was arraigned last Wednesday on a single charge of murder and is being held without bail in the Placer County Jail in Auburn.
  • Roseville Woman Guilty of First Degree Murder (Wednesday, December 09, 2009)
    A Placer Countyjury today found a 26-year-old Rosevillewoman guilty of the first-degree murder of her longtime friend, whose throat had been cut and whose body was found lying under a pile of trash on the side of a road in 2008.




more news Print This Article


Placer County News Headlines

Big DoG Countdown: Placer Breast Cancer EndowmentBig DoG Countdown: Learn how Placer Breast Cancer Endowment impacts our community.

Free Seminar Targets Sexting, Child and Teen PornographyRoseville, CA -- Life Community Church is hosting a seminar entitled "Sexting and child and teen pornography.what's a parent to do?" on Sunday, April 27 from 2p.m. to 5 p.m. at its facilities, 10020 Foothills Blvd

Northern California Invitational Rugby Tournament On April 26 and 27, The Northern California Youth Rugby Association (NCYRA), in conjunction with Placer Valley Tourism, will host the 10th Annual Northern California Invitational Rugby Tournament

Roseville Crime Report Digest (4-24-14)The Roseville Police Department's crime report digest April 24, 2014.

The Great Banquet at Bayside Church May 17thJoni and Friends Sacramento will hold its annual special needs event called The Great Banquet at Bayside Church in Roseville on May 17. The free event will be a very special evening for people

Arrest in Rocklin $37K Embezzlement CaseFrederick Lacker is suspected of embezzling funds that had been entrusted to him for the daily operations of the non-profit organization.

Strategies for Move-up Home BuyersRoseville Realtor, Julie Jalone, writes about the growth of move-up buyers in the local real estate market and outlines some potential strategies and risks when selling a current home to buy a new one.

Big DoG Countdown: Gold Country Wildlife RescueBig DoG Countdown: Learn how Gold Country Wildlife Rescue impacts your community.

Placer County's Most Wanted: Christopher AcevedoRocklin, CA -- Placer County's Most Wanted highlights individuals being sought by police. 27 year old, Christopher Michael Acevedo, last known address of Rocklin, CA

Roseville Celebrate the Earth Festival 2014Enjoy free family fun at the 7th Annual Celebrate the Earth Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 26 at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd., in Mahany Regional Park

Lumber Liquidators New Roseville Store on Fairway DriveWith the opening of its newest store at 9400 Fairway Drive Ste. 150, Lumber Liquidators has brought its low-cost, no-middleman flooring approach to Roseville

Get in Gear for May is Bike MonthIt's time to tune up your bikes and join your neighbors and coworkers in bicycling for work, school, errands, or recreation this May during the Sacramento region's annual May is Bike Month campaign.




more news