Boyfriend pleads 'not guilty' in Newell homicide


A man accused of killing his girlfriend in her East Palo Alto apartment changed his plea to not guilty, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's office.

Richard Earl Slaughter, 48, is charged with killing his girlfriend, Philomena Ashford-Anderson, 47, on August 12 in the Newell Road apartment they shared.

The couple had been living together for seven months when Slaughter allegedly became enraged over phone calls Ashford-Anderson received. Police say the jealousy was unfounded, but Slaughter allegedly stabbed Ashford-Anderson multiple times and slashed her, finally cutting her throat. Afterward, he allegedly downed a bottle of hard liquor and drove off with her gun, which she kept for protection.

Slaughter was apprehended by Redwood City police after he veered into two cars and injured the occupant of one vehicle. He was arrested for drunk driving, and when booked into San Mateo County Jail, he allegedly told deputies what he had done to the victim.

He is charged with murder, an enhancement for using a deadly weapon, violating his parole and committing a felony while on parole, being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm and two DUI counts. His is a three-strikes case.

Initially Slaughter pleaded guilty during his Aug. 4 felony arraignment in San Mateo County Superior Court. He said he did not need a lawyer, and he just wanted to plead guilty to murder. But Judge Mark Forcum pointed out the seriousness of the charges. The judge told Slaughter he should have a lawyer. But Slaughter said he understood and just wanted a lawyer to help him fill out the paperwork to plead guilty.

The court appointed the Private Defender Program to represent Slaughter, and after speaking with an attorney, he stopped talking. Slaughter remains in custody without bail and will appear in court on Oct. 15 to set a preliminary-hearing date.


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Posted by Matt
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 25, 2013 at 6:55 am

He should really change his last name.

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Posted by Too Bad
a resident of Duveneck School
on Sep 25, 2013 at 8:56 am

A shame she didn't have the guts to leave him.

Murdering while on felony parole, possessing a firearm while on parole, two DUIs? Does it really matter if he talks or not?

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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Changing his plea is interesting since the evidence seems to be overwhelming. Now I would not be averse to the DA asking for the death penalty, in fact this is just the kind of case where it makes a statement.

I'm not sure where I got the idea but I thought the apartment was hers, so it would have been the move for him to move out, which is probably why he went over the edge ... can anyone confirm or deny this. I've read about quite a few stories where problematic men are basically "kept" by women and become more overbearing until a breakup ensues at which point they get violent.

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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Any lawyers out there? Can the initial plea of guilty be a factor in any trial or not?

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Posted by Dorky
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Stupid, considering that alcohol loosened his tongue enough for him to confess to the crime while locked up for DUI.

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Posted by paul zumot
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 25, 2013 at 10:01 pm

[Post removed.]

3 people like this
Posted by R
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Too Bad,

Don't blame the victim for "not having the guts" to leave him. Leaving an abusive relationship and still make it out alive and well is far more difficult than you could imagine.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of El Carmelo School

on Jun 5, 2017 at 8:56 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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