The second day of testimony from Lisa Heng, who stands accused of murder for the stabbing death of her boyfriend, culminated in a startling reenactment of the 2014 hotel room incident before jurors — and a startled judge.
Heng’s tearful testimony pointed to her boyfriend Matt Sheahan’s aggressiveness and the defendant’s remorse for her part in his death. It also was also used to explain her actions after the July 18 incident.
Heng’s testimony appeared to be aimed at convincing the jury the stabbing was a mistake — not the premeditated killing the prosecution has claimed.
“I loved this person. Why would I want to plan to kill and actually kill him?” Heng said. “I feel like shit every day when I wake up. The person I love died by who? By me.”
Much of Heng’s testimony surrounded the morning of the incident, which took place in a room inside the Monarch Hotel near Geary Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue.
Heng, who admits she smoked meth that day, contends Sheahan, a methamphetamine addict, needed a hit and came into her room asking for his pipe. She wouldn’t give it to him, and the pair’s argument turned violent.
According to Heng, Sheahan threw her to the floor, punched her twice in the face and then put his arm to her windpipe. In an effort to get him to leave and to scare him, she took out a knife. When he came at her a last time, she put her arms out and the knife pierced his heart.
“I wasn’t aiming,” she said. “It was a reaction.”
Thursday’s courtroom drama peaked when Public Defender Jeff Adachi, playing the part of Sheahan, charged Heng in the courtroom, slamming her against a wall, as Heng says Sheahan did when the knife went into his heart.
Heng, who looked visibly shaken by the sudden action, said to no one in particular: “I don’t want to do this anymore.”
“I think that was unnecessarily dramatic,” Judge Tracie Brown said before calling a brief recess. “Let’s be done with this.”
After the recess, Heng talked about how she downplayed Sheahan’s violence when she was questioned by interrogators. She said she didn’t want him to get in trouble. During much of her interrogation, police had yet to tell her Sheahan had died.
“I didn’t want them to know that at one point I thought he would kill me,” Heng said. “I left out a lot of stuff. I was trying to protect him. I was willing to take the punishment for him.”
Heng told police she started the fight that night, leaving out details that emerged in her testimony about Sheahan knocking a cigarette out of her hand.
Those details included Sheahan hitting himself repeatedly on the face and saying he was going to tell police she had hit him, as well as a moment on the hotel room bed when she could hardly breath because he was holding his arm to her throat, Heng said.
The trial is expected to continue Friday morning.