A Hemet man accused of fatally stabbing his 47-year-old girlfriend on a Winchester street was charged Wednesday with murder.
Jeffrey Michael Kruger, 48, was arrested Saturday for the alleged slaying of Deborah Warner of Temecula Kruger and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
Along with the murder count, he is charged with domestic violence and sentence-enhancing weapon and great bodily injury allegations.
Kruger made his initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Kelly Hansen, who appointed him a public defender and scheduled his arraignment for April 11 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
About 3:40 a.m. Saturday, the defendant and Warner were embroiled in a dispute — the nature of which wasn’t clear — near Brookfield Park, at the intersection of Pourroy and Winchester roads. During the encounter, Kruger allegedly pulled a knife and stabbed the victim, who fought back, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Walter Mendez.
Residents heard the confrontation and called 911, and deputies arrived minutes later, locating both Kruger and Warner lying in the roadway, the sergeant said.
Warner was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. Kruger was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, including a wound to the face, after which he was booked into jail.
The defendant has no prior documented felony convictions in Riverside County.