A 50-year-old East Palo Alto man who stabbed and slashed his girlfriend to death in a jealous rage was sentenced to more than 96 years to life in prison on Tuesday, Dec. 30, in San Mateo County Superior Court.
Richard Earl Slaughter was convicted for killing Philomena Ashford-Anderson, 47, on Aug. 12, 2013, in the Newell Road apartment they shared.
The couple had been living together for seven months when Slaughter became enraged over phone calls Ashford-Anderson received. Police say the jealousy was unfounded, but Slaughter stabbed Ashford-Anderson multiple times and slashed her, finally cutting her throat. Afterward, he downed a bottle of hard liquor and drove off with her gun, which she kept for protection, according to San Mateo County prosecutors.
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. When booked into San Mateo County Jail, he told deputies what he had done to Ashford-Anderson.
Slaughter first told the court he wanted to plead guilty, but changed his plea after conferring with an attorney. He testified during his trial that he killed Ashford-Anderson in self defense after she attacked him. He was the only defense witness in his case, according to the district attorney's office.
On Sept. 25, a jury convicted him of first-degree murder with a deadly-weapon enhancement, felony possession of a firearm by a felon, felony carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle; felony drunk driving causing injury; and felony driving with over .08 percent blood alcohol causing injury.
He received a triple-length sentence under the Three Strikes Law due to prior felony convictions. He was previously convicted of armed robbery in 1995 and two assaults in 1999, according to the DA's office.
The jury took 65 minutes to deliberate his case and returned with convictions on all charges. Six people addressed the court at his sentencing hearing, including two ministers and the defendant.
Slaughter must serve a minimum of 96 years and 8 months in prison before he would be eligible for parole. Judge Mark Forcum granted him 505 days credit for time served. Slaughter was ordered to pay $5,000 restitution to the Victims Compensation and Government Claims Board plus restitution in amounts to be determined by the court to the victim he injured in the car crash and additional restitution.