A 75-year-old man who slashed a woman’s throat in an unprovoked attack in Pasadena was sentenced Monday to seven years to life in state prison.
Lance Anthony Semkus pleaded no contest earlier this month to attempted murder and admitted an allegation that he used a knife in the commission of the Oct. 23, 2017, attack.
The woman, whose name was not released, suffered severe injuries as she fought off her attacker, according to Deputy District Attorney Ryan Erlich. She gave a victim’s impact statement to the court before sentencing, but did not appear in person for the hearing, according to a court clerk.
The victim was approached from behind as she sat against a retaining wall in the 600 block of South Arroyo Parkway and attacked without provocation before her assailant fled in a SUV, according to police.
Witnesses gave police descriptions of the suspect and the vehicle, and a helicopter unit spotted the SUV in the area of California Boulevard and Fair Oaks Avenue and directed officers to the location, where Semkus was detained without incident.
A knife was recovered and Semkus was positively identified by witnesses. He has remained behind bars without bail since then and is currently being held at Twin Towers Correctional Facility, according to online jail records.
Semkus was initially also charged with mayhem involving the attempted murder victim and attempted second-degree robbery involving a woman in front of a pet store the same day, along with two counts of animal cruelty involving Semkus’ two dogs, who were found dead. Those charges were dismissed as a result of his plea.
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