Man gets life in prison for 2013 fatal stabbing

An East Palo Alto man with three prior strikes was sentenced Tuesday to 96 years and 8 months to life in prison for the brutal stabbing murder of his live-in girlfriend, according to prosecutors.

Richard Earl Slaughter, 50, was convicted by a jury in September of murder with an enhancement for the use of a deadly weapon in connection with the Aug. 12, 2013 death of 47-year-old East Palo Alto resident Philomena Ashford-Anderson.

In addition, he was convicted of felony possession of a firearm by a felon, felony possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle, felony drunken driving causing injury and felony driving with a blood alcohol level of more than .08 percent causing injury, prosecutors said.

The sentence imposed reflects both those charges and three previous strikes for violent offenses including one armed robbery conviction dating to 1995 and two attempted murder convictions dating to 1999, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Tuesday.

Slaughter was arrested by Redwood City police in August 2013 on suspicion of drunken driving after a collision in which he struck two cars, according to police and prosecutors.

Shortly after he was treated for minor injuries and booked into San Mateo County Jail, Slaughter told officers where to find Ashford-Anderson.

When they checked at an apartment building at 45 Newell Road in East Palo Alto they found her dead inside with multiple stab wounds to her torso.

Ashford-Anderson had been living with Slaughter for around seven months at the time of her death, according to prosecutors.

Wagstaffe described the sentencing as “very emotional,” noting that several of Ashford-Anderson's family members and friends addressed the court.

Slaughter will not be eligible for parole until he has completed 96 years of his sentence, Wagstaffe noted.

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